Happy mid-May everyone! We hope you’re all keeping well, staying safe, getting a pop-up test occasionally if your provincial government is offering them (looks like only NS residents at the moment, but they *do* have the highest active cases currently), and maybe even enjoying a local beer or two when you have a chance. There are still plenty of new beers to tell you about, but first some very important internal news. Big congratulations to our own co-author Damian whose wife Leah gave birth to Lewis Brian Bertram Daniels this week! We’ll give Lewis a couple of years of rest before he gets roped into writing for the blog… Massive thanks to Shawn for stepping in and exercising those blog-writing-fingers for us to bring you the beer news in a timely fashion!
Let’s kick off this week’s news sharing news that the call for applications to North Brewing’s 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship is now open! Recognizing the “need for better representation within the craft beer and hospitality communities”, the crew at North are awarding a scholarship, $1500 per year for up to four years of education at an HRM College or University, for local students entering programs related directly or indirectly to the brewing industry. Highlighting the many hands that work together to bring great beer to fruition, that could be in sciences, hospitality, engineering, art and design, fabrication and trades, and business, to name a few. In addition, the successful candidate will have guaranteed summer employment (if they choose) in the taproom, retail, or production areas at the brewery, during their schooling. Assisting North in going through the many worthy applicants are Ren Navarro of Beer. Diversity., and members of the wonderful and local Change is Brewing Collective. Applications are open now until July 31st, please check out the details on their website.
We hope we’re not too late in passing on some important beer news from Corner Brook’s Boomstick Brewing, but just in case there’s some bottles of their latest release yet for those of you in Newfoundland not in the know, it’s better late than never! The beer is Time Scientist, a barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. With a grain bill that is the largest of any beer they’ve brewed so far (and it shows, coming in at a hefty 10% ABV), likely representing a myriad of specialty grains, there was also an addition of lots and lots of beautiful coffee from Gros Morne Coffee Roasters. The next ingredient was time, with the beer allowed to condition for nine months in two types of imported barrels: four previously containing Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and four others Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. Those of you experienced even slightly with barrel-aged beer will recognize that individual barrels can impart anywhere from small to large differences in a beer, and this is the case here, as well. Allowing those similarities and complementary notes to remain intact, the four bourbon barrels were blended together, but packaged separately from its four whiskey brethren, in different-hued takes on the same image of local Tablelands hiking trail in Gros Morne National Park. Both resulting beers exhibit “notes of coffee, vanilla, and toasty oak”, coming across as hearty and rich, with different subtleties from the barrels. As supplies have been quite limited, there’s a very good chance they’re getting low on stock by now, so be sure to contact them ahead of time if you’re planning a run over to the taproom. All is not lost for those who are a bit further afield, as the Time Scientist will be making its way East starting Monday, with NLC locations and Marie’s Mini Marts receiving stock Monday and Tuesday. And great news if this is your cup of beer, as they are planning more Time Scientist releases for the rest of 2021, so keep your eyes peeled for more versions!
Meanwhile, back on the mainland – Hampton, NB, to be exact – Gridiron Brewing has a brand new beer that should be hitting taps and cans just in time for the weekend. Highland Maple Amber Ale was brewed with a not-unusual grain bill of barley, toasted wheat, and Amber malt (all from Island Malt House), but instead of using water for the mash, they incorporated maple sap (here’s hoping the heat helped liquify all of that a little bit!) that was produced at Highfield Maples, located very close to the brewery. Approximately 12 L of maple syrup from the same source was added once fermentation began, giving the final 5.1% ABV beer “a nice, delicate maple finish”. You can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery from Thursday to Sunday 3-6 pm, or by appointment (check out their social media for more details on that front); it should also be available at other friendly beer spots in the area. And stay tuned for more updates on their new brewery, with their taproom set to open in the not-too-distant future!
It’s been a long time coming, but Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing has finally opened their taproom expansion, almost doubling their drinking space with a new room adjacent to the original space. The new lounge continues the same motif, with barn board, barn red doors, and plants, but adds some super comfy chairs and couches, as well as TVs, darts, and board games. There’s also a separate bar in the new space that will be open during busy times, as well as private functions. To celebrate the new space, they’ve also launched a brand new American IPA, Hole in the Wall. This 5.8% ABV, 55 IBUs crystal-clear beer was hopped with Galena, Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra, giving aromas of “mango, pineapple, and juicy citrus, with floral hints of pine needle”. Expect more of the same on the palate, with a mild bitterness in the finish. We suggest dropping by the new space this weekend, to enjoy both the atmosphere AND the beer(s)! Note that they’ve also expanded their taproom hours, as they’re now open every day of the week from noon to 11 pm.
Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a whole bevy of bevvies hitting the shelves at home and to a new market this month. First up, Limelight is back, their 4.0% ABV lager with real lime juice added to the brew. Coming in at 100 calories, it’s also great for those keeping track while they imbibe. Now at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner retail shops, it will be hitting the shelves at the PEILCC next week. Speaking of next week, they’ll be debuting Go Go Gose, a 4.0% ABV Golden Plum Sour that is a slightly tweaked version of the Beta Brew that appeared in a local Advent Calendar. Featuring a significant addition of golden plum purée and a touch of salinity, the sour will be on shelves at 41 Allen Street and 156 Great George Street before the end of next week, and on draught there and at licensees before too long. The Go Go Gose and Limelight will be joining their new Cavalier Lager in a Beach Day Essentials mixed 12-pack debuting next week as well, available at Upstreet and PEILCC locations. And from one Island to another, a big order of Limelight, Commons Lager, White Noize White IPA, and Go Devil will soon be appearing on shelves at Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Commission. We’ll be sure to let our faithful readers know when they can grab them!
The creative minds at Serpent Brewing are at it again. Fresh off installing their awesome curbside drive-thru, the team is rolling out a new packaging format and using the occasion to thank the frontline workers who have been ensuring we all continue to have access to essential goods and services. On the packaging front, Serpent is now offering 32 oz crowlers, starting off with three of their core brands. We are big fans of this format, perfect for sharing and preventing our basements from accruing more glass growlers. To top it off, they are offering a limited-time promo to help you get your hands on some crowlers and show your appreciation for frontline workers. Between now and 2:00 PM tomorrow (Saturday), if you buy two crowlers, a third will be provided to a well-deserving frontline worker, compliments of the good people at Serpent. To sweeten the offer, Serpent will deliver your crowlers directly to your door. Grab your favourites at their online shop now! And keep your eyes peeled here and their Social Media for details on the release of a new beer next week, which will include a virtual tasting event on Saturday May 22.
Stillwell Brewing is back with a new batch of SOOK now in the wild. First released in August 2019, SOOK is a 4.1% ABV grissette, brewed with Stillwell’s house mixed fermentation strain. A mix of pale barley and wheat malts are combined with noble hops to produce a dry, zippy, farmhouse-style grisette with light floral notes. You can get your hands on SOOK in HRM through weekly Friday deliveries. Orders of $30 or more placed by midnight Thursday will be delivered right to your door. Stillwell’s beers are also available for Canada-wide shipping. We noticed that a few oldies/goodies have also been restocked, giving you the chance to order some other tasty treats while you’re at it. And while we’re talking about Stillwell, we’d be remiss not to mention that the beer bar side of the business has relaunched its online store. To keep you safe during this last (right? please?) wave of the pandemic, they are putting together make-at-home kits featuring some classic menu items. That’s right – you can now get your smash on at home and prepare your very own diner burger. The store is also stocked with all sorts of liquid treats from elsewhere in Canada, the USA and Europe. Next-day HRM deliveries are available Thursday through Saturday.
Lake City Cider has a special tasting event planned this evening for their In-Ciders this evening. And great news, if you’re in the HRM, you can be an In-Cider too! Featuring a 750ml bottle each of their Raspberry Dry (8.0%, featuring Noggins Farm raspberries), Exit 6 Blueberry (5.5%, Oxford wild blueberries), Mac G Cider (6.5%, 50% Macintosh 50% Gravenstein), plus you’ll be receiving a Mystery Bottle only available in this In-Cider pack. We’re in the dark to its identity as much as you, but we’re sure it will be a tasty and unique blend! Your $65 pack (delivery included!) also includes a Lake City unbreakable Silipint glass. Tune into their Instagram at 7 PM to drink along with Poet of Lake City as she chats about the development, production, and final flavours in the ciders in your glass. There is a 1 PM cutoff for delivery today to ensure you don’t miss out, otherwise you can grab it yourself at their curbside take-away window at 35 Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth, open 11 – 8 PM.
Down the coast in Chester, Tanner Brewing snuck in a new release after posting time last week. Half Nelson is a lighter take on their ever popular Nelson Saison. With a name inspired by the Nelson Sauvin hop, this 5.2% saison features notes of passion fruit, pineapple and lemon, to go along with a subtle sauvignon blanc character. 500 ml bottles are now available at Tanner’s two Chester-area locations.
If y’all like yourself some Czech Lager, we’ve got some good news to cheer you up if you’re in the HRM… or heck, even if you want some beer delivered to your door outside of that area! 2 Crows has passed on some early details on a beer they’re releasing next Friday (May 21st), a Czech Lager named Letna. In true 2C form, it was brewed with the classic style in mind, with a base of floor-malted Pilsner from Island Malt House, and a little bit of Acid malt for mash pH adjustment. They used low-oxygen brewing techniques (pretty much standard for all of the brewery’s Lagers now), as well as a double decoction mash (obviously suckers for punishment!). Hopped to the max with Saaz hops, including in the mash, at first wort, 10 minutes remaining in the boil, and in the whirlpool. Fermented low and slow with Escarpment Lab’s Czech Lager strain, they also krausened the beer at the end of fermentation with a smaller batch of the same beer. Once the beer was ready for the temp to be dropped, they did so slowly, all the way down to -0.5 Celsius, where it was left to lager for 10 weeks. And now, it’s finally ready for you (in a week!), and is tasting “crisp and crunchy, herbal, bready, and bitter”, and weighs in at a supremely drinkable 4.9% ABV and 38 IBUs. Hell, they’re even calling it the best thing they’ve ever made… we think that may be subjective, but are inclined to take their word on it! Letna is going to be available in 355 mL cans, which we love to hear. Keep watch on the brewery’s social media early next week, as they plan to announce a pre-order package that includes a sixer of the beer, a Lager stein, Czech-style sausages, buns, meats… the whole nine yards.
Brightwood Brewery has a new release from their summertime ‘crushable’ series. Berry Crushable is a kettle sour developed in collaboration with Dartmouth’s Pop Culture Brew Co. Kombucha. This ‘kombucha sour’ was kettled soured with the scoby probiotic which is used to make kombucha. The fermentation included additions of elderberries and hibiscus for a bright red color. The final beer comes in at 4.7% ABV and features red fruit flavours and a tart finish. Berry Crushable is available now at the brewery on Portland Street and in Brightwood’s online store.
Sticking with Dartmouth sours, North Brewing is releasing a new iteration in its Plush series with Peach Plush. This 4.5% ale sees a fermentation featuring both Lacto 2.0 and Vermont ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. This 10 barrel batch was then hit with 300 pounds of Nova Scotia peaches Cans are now available through North’s delivery, curbside pick-up, and shipping options, all accessible on their website.
A few last minute beers to tell you about before we let you go this week!
Sussex Ale Works has a brand new sour on tap and in cans this weekend, featuring locally grown and harvested rhubarb. Homestead Rhubarb Sour is 4.8% ABV, and in addition to the local vegetable that thrives in the region, Sussex also added in a spice featured in their family’s rhubarb pie recipe. Pop by Thurs – Sat 12 – 8 PM, 2 – 6 PM Sundays.
Two warm weather favourites are making their return at Trailway Brewing. First up is Beyond Reality Raspberry Wheat Ale. Coming in at a sessionable 4% ABV, the base wheat beer features El Dorado hops and an addition of raspberries. We also have Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA. This one sticks with the raspberries and El Dorado hops, but in the milkshake style also includes additions of lactose and vanilla, as well as a little bit of lime zest this time around. Both beers are now available in cans and on tap at the brewery. In other timely news, Trailway has also expanded the patio area at its Fredericton taproom and has upgraded the outdoor seating options for your lounging pleasure.
Shipwright Brewing and Uncle Leo’s Brewery have teamed up to create Off Course, a 5.7% ABV German Smoked Lager. Light and refreshing yet displaying plenty of smoke character, this beer is a throwback to the days when even non “intentionally” smoked beers showed that character due to the barley kilning process using low-burning smokey fires. Available now at both breweries, and at Uncle Leo’s website for delivery in Pictou County, or nation-wide shipping (free in NS!).