It’s that time of year again! Oktoberfest is in the air and COVID cases are rising! With kids back in school, lagers in brite tanks, it feels like we’ve been here before, but this time with vaccinations. There are plenty of events to attend across the Atlantic Region over the next few weeks, but as New Brunswick now has proof-of-vaccination in place and reversal of their mask mandate both there and in Newfoundland, it’s more important than ever to check out your province and establishment protocols. We want to enjoy and celebrate our region as much as possible, so let’s all do it safely, with pretzels in hand!
Nova Scotia’s Delta Force Brewing has emerged from the shadows with a pair of releases today, two takes on an oft-overlooked traditional style. Operation Forge – Stock Ale is being released in both a base version, as well as one that hung out in a fresh oak barrel for a short time, picking up both Brett notes as well as the underlying wood character. These complement the caramel profile in the base beer, thanks to the use of invert sugar, created by converting sucrose to a mix of fructose and glucose. As they do not have a retail location, the best way to grab your Stock Ale, and any of their other 8 offerings available, is to fire them an email to order and request home delivery in HRM or the Hwy 101 Corridor. That same email will get you on the exclusive list to hear about the latest releases before the general public, so don’t sleep on that!
From the rock and one of the loveliest locations in Atlantic Canada, Dildo Brewing has 2 new releases available now. First up is Do-X, named after the series of massive flying boats with a storied past and Newfoundland and Italian connections. In the Italian Pilsner style, a delicious twist on the classic German Pils, it was dry hopped with Noble hops late into the lagering, bringing some spicy, herbal notes making it a very zippy and crisp 5% lager.
Second up this week is the collaboration between Dildo and Burchie’s Gourmet Doughnuts. Donuts for Days is a donut stout using a special donut made just for this beer release. A doughnut/pastry Imperial Stout, this beer was aged on some sweet stuff including raspberries, cocoa, marshmallows and bourbon soaked Madagascar vanilla beans. A welcoming imperial stout at 7.8% it provides rich, sweet, decadent flavours. Both of these new releases are available in 473 mL cans and on draft only at the Dildo brewery and the retail store in St. John’s.
A few pieces of news from the Good Robot family this week as they have a new beer release and a second location on the way. Golden Juniper is a 5% pale ale brewed with juniper additions and balanced with a piney, resinous hop flavour, this is a beer to enjoy with your forest friends. Low-gluten thanks to the addition of enzymes during fermentation, it is available now for pints in the taproom, and in 473 mL cans to go from the brewery or online for delivery
While news and rumours of Good Robot’s second facility in Elmsdale has been around for a few months, they’re holding a meet (or meat) and greet today, Friday, Sept 24, from 3:30 to 7:30 PM at their new location. At 14 Industrial Way, anyone from the local community is welcome to stop by for a BBQ hosted by the Good Robots themselves. No beer just yet, but check out the Facebook event here and swing by Elmsdale if you can!
Never a stranger to putting out new releases and fresh off a Canadian Brewing Awards win (a bronze medal for their Tripel), Village Green is back with Weird Clouds. Part of an ongoing series, this is version 6, featuring a lovely hop blend with classic American stalwarts Centennial and Simcoe alongside the lovely New Zealand variety of Motueka. This one has a very sweet, fluffy, and tropical flavour and comes in at 6.2%. It’s available now on draft in Cornwall and also in 473 mL cans to go. And while you’re there, you can also grab a tasty favourite (at least of ours!), their Milk Stout, which is available now on tap and in cans.
Hopping north to another island, St. John’s’ Bannerman is back with a new release. Scenic Route is a blueberry kettle sour ale, made with real blueberry purée and a hint of fresh mint! Dry-hopped with Mosaic, this should have a wonderful aroma and freshness. Pouring with a deep maroon-ish colour it is a 5% ale available today in 473 mL cans only at Bannerman, in addition to being on tap for pints and growler fills.
After opening the location about 8 weeks ago, Spindrift is launching a beer in honour of Spindrift Oak Manor in downtown Antigonish. According to the brewery, X-Port Ale is an ale/lager hybrid with a lower 5.2% ABV for a more sessionable sipper. And whilst you enjoy this golden straw-coloured beer with a slight grainy and estery aroma, be sure to check out the can design, which features a lovely portrait of Antigonish. Available now in 473 mL cans and on tap in Dartmouth and Antigonish.
Chester’s own Tanner Brewing has a returning favourite you can get now, Altbier is back and it’s mostly what you’d expect. Always a brewery to put a spin on things, this Altbier is brewed in the Sticke Alt style, a maltier and hoppier version of a traditional Altbier. With a lovely balance of caramel and molasses flavours with bitterness, this checks in at 5.7% and 40 IBU and is a welcome addition as fall arrives and many breweries have their darker seasonals coming back into the fold. Available now in 500ml bottles at both Tanner locations in Chester and Chester Basin; also, they still deliver on Fridays into HRM.
Ahead of the Nocturne Art at Night Festival, taking place in Halifax October 13 – 16, Propeller Brewing has brought back their annual collaborative fundraising Nocturne Black IPA today. Dry-hopped with Amarillo and Falconers Flight, this black beer has a malty backbone of roast and dark chocolate, melding together for a strong 6.7% balanced brew. Available at their 3 Shops in Dartmouth and Halifax, it is joined by a new release of their Mosaic Pale Ale, now in 6 packs, and heading to select NSLC locations next week.
In mixed good/bad news, unfortunately PEI’s Harvest Home Festival has been canceled, due to rising COVID numbers, to keep everyone involved safe. However, the Copper Bottom Tanglewood Harvest Ale will be released this weekend despite the disappointing news. As they say, the show must go on, therefore the launch will coincide with their regularly scheduled Tunes on Tap event at 3 PM on the 26th. Ward MacDonald, Thomas Harrington, and a few special guests will be entertaining the taproom. Part of their GiveBack Initiative, $1 of each can or pint sold goes toward supporting emerging artists in the province through micro-grants. So, about the beer… Tanglewood is a bright and fresh 5.5% American Pale Ale, featuring freshly-picked Comet hops from Mount Albion’s Island Hop Company’s first harvest! Island Malt House Pilsner malt is at the base, along with Cara and Munich malts for more backbone, balancing some great citrus character from the hops. In addition to cans and draught at the source, keep your eyes peeled in Charlottetown and Halifax for taps pouring the good stuff this weekend.
Lots of news from Nova Scotia’s South Shore this week, with a new beer, new charitable initiative, as well as employment opportunities. Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay (and their sister locations King Street Beer bridgewater in Bridgewater and Lightship in Lunenburg) are celebrating Polish Heritage Month in Nova Scotia with the release of The Big Kowalski. Named in honour of Polish-Nova Scotian author William Kowalski, this 4.7% ABV beer features honey from The Little Bee Farm, bringing floral notes on top of a crisp and light brew. TBK hit the taps at all three locations yesterday at 5 PM, so they’re all ready to accept your pint request!
Saltbox and King Street and Lightship are also looking to expand their growing team, and are in search of some full- and part-time taproom servers to add to the fold. Reach out to Tap Room Manager Natasha to learn more!
The latest in Saltbox’s quarterly charitable efforts has been in support of the Fisherman’s Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, which in turn supports the local healthcare community through bursaries and equipment finance. After donating nearly $1000 through the Fishermans Memorial Golf Tournament this month, they have installed a kindness meter at Lightship to collect donations that will be passed directly to the hospital. Think Social and Drink Local!
The year 2020 was notable and memorable for many things, one of which was the debut of a Pumpkin beer from Boxing Rock. After years of saying they’d never do it (we’ve heard that before from them!), they decided to hop in. Not wanting to drink the “same old, same old” pumpkin spice beer, they put their own spin on it, and came up with Fuego Habanero Pumpkin Ale. Habanero peppers added in the boil give massive heat character, as well as a pleasant flavour, which is complemented by the hints of cinnamon and a touch of black pepper. The result is a mouth-watering beer that is quite drinkable! Cans of Fuego are available at the brewery and retailers now, and it is joined by the latest release of their Back to Birchtown Old Stock Ale, brewed with their (and our) pals at Change is Brewing Collective, in support of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society.
Special delivery! St. John’s Bar Brewdock has received 6 beers from the other side of the country, with Burnaby, British Columbia’s Dageraad Brewing sending along a mix of kegs and bottles to East Duck. On draught, Dagvar Czech Pils, Burnabarian Table Beer, and Rainshine Blonde. Seven Saison, State of Nature IPA, and Maroc Ale are available in house or to go with food purchase. And keep an eye on their Social Media for more details on their Oktoberfest which kicks off Tuesday Sept 28 and runs all week.
In Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery, their Waterfront Beergarden, as well as BrightYard will be tapping kegs and casks all weekend to celebrate the season. Sausages from Vessel Meats, special treats from the smoker, and more! Learn more here, and get out to enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!
While still a couple of months away, tickets for the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival’s 12 Beer of Christmas are selling fast, so we suggest you grab yours to avoid disappointment… Your ticket for this November 27th event (with includes many more than just 12 beers, btw) gets you into the St. John’s Farmers Market to eat, drink, and be merry!
And while you’re at it, be sure to keep March 25 and 26, 2022 clear, as this is when the NL Craft Beer Festival makes their triumphant return after the setbacks the last 19 months. Tickets for that event are also on sale and will not last much longer, we reckon! Also taking place in the St. John’s Farmers Market, look for a West Coast celebration to be happening in 2022 as well!
Just a coupla quick hits before we let you go:
Concerned by the Proof of Vaccination for Non-essential Activities policy coming to Nova Scotia October 4th? Let Garrison help assuage that a little bit by dropping down to their taproom with a printed copy of your proof of vaccination, and they’ll laminate it for you! No more fears of dropping it in your beer or it getting too wrinkled to read. May we suggest also having a copy in your recent photos on your phone too, just in case…
Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewery is celebrating Oktoberfest this weekend (and next), as well as the return of their award-winning The Wicker Man Pumpkin Lager… And they have even more reason to celebrate, as co-owner Jerrica Kennedy was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton and the Hub City Young Professionals Network as one of Moncton’s Top 20 under 40! Making a difference in the city through activities inside and out of their business pursuits is what garnered the accomplishment. Congratulations Jer and the entire Tire Shack team!
In case you missed our post Monday, the results from the 19th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards were announced on the weekend, and the region’s brewers did quite well. Punching well above their weight were Prince Edward Island’s Copper Bottom and Village Green, earning 4 medals between them, with Grimross leading the charge for New Brunswick, taking home 3 of the 6 medals in the province (Brasseux d’la Cote, Four Rivers, and Moosehead round out the NB winners). Rough Waters took home half of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 4 medals (Port Rexton and Quidi Vidi grabbed one each), and Nova Scotian medals were evenly split between Garrison, Propeller, Tatamagouche, and Uncle Leo’s. Congratulations to all of the winners!