Unfiltered Brewing

All posts tagged Unfiltered Brewing

Oy, we’re a little late today and apologies for that, but what are you going to do when there’s so much going on in the Atlantic Canada beer (and cider!) scene? It’s looking like a lovely day throughout most of the region, with a high chance of continued loveliness through the weekend – it’s almost enough to make you think that Spring is something you can believe in. Whether you choose to let yourself be lulled into a state of hopefulness or not, one thing that goes wonderfully with nice weather is beer! And, well, we can tell you a little bit about that…

Great news for beer fans in downtown Halifax, the Tiny Taproom rises again! After closing their spot for in-person enjoyment in March 2020 (you know, because of this pandemic), Tidehouse Brewing shifted their focus to curbside sales of their beer in cans. In the before times, grabbing a barstool at the 6-7 person bar top could kick off or wind down your night, physical distancing was definitely not a thing. Taking advantage of this not-completely-voluntary opportunity, the Tidehouse Team has completely renovated their space, and are now open again to all of us. Making their production space out back more efficient and streamlined (taking out their original plastic fermenters and replacing with four 500 litre tanks was a big help in that regard), put them in the position to extend the public space significantly. Capacity is now 16 (22 in a post-COVID world), which may mean them losing the title of smallest brewery taproom in the country, but we think they’re OK with that… So, what can you expect when you visit? In addition to being significantly larger, the space has a refreshed look thanks to B.A. Built (behind the Edna and Bar Stillwell looks and designs), and several tables so your bubble buddies can enjoy a pint or samples at low tops. 5 taps are flowing these days, with fresh Sotil, Hibiscus City, Bitchin Camaro IPA, Goth Stout, and Mars Imperial Stout, with a small number of cans available as well. That last one is their massive 11.5% ABV ImpStout with lactose, blackberries, and yes, Mars bars. Small pours on this one, fam!

Congratulations again to Shean and Peter and the entire Tidehouse Crew for weathering the storm and using it as an opportunity to expand their space and offerings! Pop by 4 PM – midnight, Wednesday to Saturday, 5187 Salter Street.

With last weekend’s ice all melted and some bluer skies in the forecast, now seems like the perfect time for a trip to Cape Breton for the release of Big Spruce Brewing’s newest beer, Début. This marks the first beer to spend time in their recently acquired 500 litre foeders. Brewed in the grisette style, Début also saw a dry hopping with Huell Melon hops and completed its entire fermentation in the foeders. Expect aromas of spice from the fermentation and melon from the hops, with notes of vanilla and honey on the palette. This one is making its debut (zing!) in kegs at the Sprucetique in Nyanza and in Downtown Dartmouth at Battery Park

The grass is always greener, they say and in PEI, Village Green is back with a new beer available today. Amarillo Pale is a Pale Ale brewed exclusively with Amarillo hops which gives it a great citrus flavour with some snappy bitterness. This 5.2% treat  is available today at the Cornwall brewery on tap and also in cans to go. 

Keeping up with new releases and news week after week, Bannerman Brewing is dropping two new releases today. First, Nothing But Time, is a new IPA that brings a unique flavour profile. With a grain bill consisting mostly of flaked and malted wheat, they massively dry-hopped this 7.5% IPA with El Dorado and Citra giving it a character that might remind you of candy and more specifically, Rockets! Available now on tap and in 473ml cans from the brewery; it will be at Marie’s this weekend. 

The second big release from Bannerman this week is a Thai-inspired lager with help from Namjim, a Thai based dining experience that serves out of different restaurants around St. John’s. Paradise Lost is a light and complex lager brewer with Pilsner malt, flaked rice and lemongrass. After being generously dry-hopped with Motueka and Sorachi Ace, this 5.0% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted coconut, lime leaf and lime zest. 

To celebrate the release, Namjim will be doing a kitchen takeover at Bannerman for Friday and Saturday (April 9th and 10th). The beer will be available only in 473ml cans from the brewery in limited quantities, so grab it while you can!

Down Lunenburg way, Shipwright Brewing is back to making some small batches for limited distribution (or at least we’re back to finding out about them in a timely fashion). The latest is one they’re calling Njǫrd Jötunn Saison, a 6.7% ABV saison at 30 IBU with a bit of a Scandanavian bent. Built on a grist of Shoreline Malting Pilsner and wheat malts, with a touch of acidulated malt in the mix as well, you can expect a balanced malt profile with some light graininess and a touch of honey sweetness. The hopping featured Eureka in the kettle for bittering, with late additions of Citra and Amarillo cryo hops for plenty of citrusy hop character. Completing the picture was a warm ferment with the Jötunn yeast blend from Escarpment Labs, which is a blend of a Norwegian Kveik strain and a saison strain designed to have a Viking deathmatch in the wort. Expect a bright and fruity beer with plenty of minerality and a touch of funk. Available on tap only at the brewery, and for growler fills and crowlers to go.

In cider news, Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville dropped a new one last week, but a little too late for our pre-long weekend Thursday post. That’s okay, though, because it’s still showing in their online shop, so it’s still available! The latest in their Something Different series, Grape Mint has a pretty self-explanatory name, as it was blended with cryo-extracted grape juice and infused with plenty of fresh mint. Landing at 7.4% ABV, this sparkling cider leads with acidity, brings tropical pineapple and mango mid-palate, and then finishes clean with a cooling sensation from the mint, which is also present in the aroma. Sounds like this one would have gone well with Easter lamb dinner, but we’re sure it’s plenty tasty on its own too! As with all Something Different ciders from Annapolis, this one is in growlers only, and $0.50 from each fill will go to support a charity, in this case Campaign for Kids.

Fredericton’s Trailway continues to revisit some of their previous offerings, review them, revise them, and re-release them in a renewed form. This time it’s one called Imagination, an IPA brewed originally with Ekuanot and Loral (HBC 291), it now boasts so-new-it-doesn’t-have-a-name-yet HBC 630, Cashmere, Idaho 7, Sultana, and Columbus. But what’s more, this one has been upgraded to full DDH (that’s “double dry hopped”) status. This super hop-saturated fruity monster isn’t so monstrous when it comes to ABV, rolling in at 6%, which means you can almost certainly have two. Look for it on tap and canned at the brewery alongside a fresh batch of another of their hoppiest brews, Green Island. Act fast though, as both of these are in limited quantities and won’t be seen again for a while! Lastly, we told you about Trailway’s new light ale, Mully, a couple weeks back, a crisp and refreshing easy drinker at a paltry 4.0% ABV. That one is now in cans in addition to being on tap exclusively at JH Sports.

We mentioned back in March that Annapolis Brewing did a Pink Boots collaboration brew with folks from Church Brewing, Lunn’s Mill, and Sea Level for International Women’s Day 2021, and we promised you more details when it was released, so, well, here we are. Coming out this weekend is Glass Ceiling, a hazy IPA in the New England/Northeast style. At 5.5% ABV you could consider it on the more sessionable end of the style, with plenty of pineapple, mango, and coconut coming across from the Pink Boots hop blend, while a pleasant bitterness provides balance and a wheat-heavy grain bill brings the haze. Of course, proceeds from the sales will go to the Pink Boots Society, which provides scholarships for women in beer education around the world. We’re not sure exactly who’s going to have this one available, but we’d guess Annapolis for sure, so if you’re looking for some check there first!

Truro Brewing Company has a brand new light and crushable beer flowing from the taps today, Endless Summer. This 5.0% ABV Kolsch-style lagered ale is their answer to the “lawnmower” beers that many of us turn to as the weather warms and we may want a beer that refreshes first, without needing to think about it too much. While you probably won’t be grabbing ES by the flat, growler fills are certainly available at their spot and are a bit easier to juggle. 

Nova Scotian Homebrewers, fire up those kettles again (as if you need us to tell you that)! Truro Brewing has announced their Hubtown Homebrew Competition. They are looking for your best and most creative Patio Beer! Your $20 entry gets you a t-shirt, as well as a pitch of Escarpment’s Krispy Kveik liquid yeast, a perfect way to ferment something quick and crispy-ly. Judging takes place at the end of May (BJCP-Sanctioned, btw, so scoresheets with real feedback provided!), and the winning brewer will come in to TBC for a brew day with Jana and see their beer get a full release. There are only 20 spots for entries, so if you are keen, best fire them an email (trurobrewco@gmail.com) now!

Obviously a full slate of events still can’t really be a thing right now, but there are still a few things going on with proper social distancing and masking up and the hey-hey, so check them out!

Propeller Brewing is happy to announce that their Community Cask Night event will be supporting Prescott Group this month, with April’s events scheduled for tonight and two weeks from tonight. You can read more at their website for more details, but the short version is that they’ve been a non-profit organization in the area since 1962 and current support 160+ adults with disabilities through development of work and life skills. The cask for this evening will be Prop’s venerable ESB with an addition of coffee, while the April 23rd event will feature their Prime Lager dry-hopped with African Queen. As always, the casks will be tapped at 5 PM and will be served until they’re gone.

The last 12 months have seen far fewer beer nerds travelling outside of our bubble in search of new brews. Luckily, the good people at Stillwell continue to bring in the goods from elsewhere in Canada and beyond. This Saturday at HQ, they’ll be tapping three mixed ferm treats from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery. Beginning at noon, you’ll find a Farmageddon variant with Niagara Montmorency and Morello cherries, the peach version of White Picket Fence, and Grandma, a foeder fermented golden sour. 

Are you a pro brewer looking to expand your knowledge of Berliner Weisse production? Maybe you’re just a curious homebrewer looking to get your lacto on? Whatever the case, check out the upcoming webinar from Escarpment Labs, livestreaming on April 20th at 12:00 PM (CBC voice: “12:30 in Newfoundland”). Escarpment will be joined by German brewer and beer historian Benedikt Koch, who will cover topics including the history and culture of the beer, and various production methods. Reserve your spot here. If you can’t make the livestream, look for the recording to be added to Escaprment’s YouTube channel on April 21. 

Our usual round-up of quick hits is right here:

North Brewing is switching things up this week with the release of a cider. Core Values, first made last spring on North’s smaller system, is made with Stirling’s Farms apples. Fermented with a Chardonnay yeast strain to the tune of 6.1% ABV, it spent six weeks undergoing a cold ferment/conditioning, resulting in a drier cider with notes of melon, citus, and you guessed it, apple. Cans of Core Value are available now through North’s retail channels and on tap at the Portland Street taproom and Battery Park.

Staying with Dartmouth ciders, Lake City Cider has a new one out this week that features a variety of methods and fruits. Strawberry Rhubarb is a 7.8% cider made from house-fermented strawberry rhubarb fruit wine, blended with apples. Expect prominent berry notes and a tart finish. Cans are available now through Lake City’s retail channels. 

This Saturday will see the return of the acclaimed Commissar Russian Imperial Stout at Unfiltered Brewing. The 2021 release comes in at 11.2% ABV and will be available in bottles and on tap next door at Charm School. Drink some now, and buy bottles for when the end of the world truly comes into focus…

We know plenty of folks who’ve missed Propeller’s Azacca session IPA and wish it were a full-year beer and not a seasonal, but life’s like that. The good news for that set is that the season is upon us and the 4.5% ABV and 30 IBU single-hop (Azacca, duh) beer is back at the Prop Shops and six packs are heading to the private stores, then NSLC in May, where you’ll be able to find it all summer long.

And speaking of the return of sessionable hoppy beers for the summer, 2 Crows has also brought back theirs! Matinee is just 3.1% ABV, but it packs plenty of flavor owing to being loaded with Citra, Galaxy, and Idaho 7 hops. Find it at the brewery now and coming next week to select NSLC stores.

A couple of jobs in beer on our radars this week, and expect to see these more and more as taprooms and breweries beef up their staff in preparation for the coming traveling season. Let’s go Bubble!

Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, and their sister The Station location in Bridgetown, are hiring Servers, Bartenders, and Cooks to round out their FOH and BOH crew. Open to all with an interest in beer, wine, cider, and spirits or designing, preparing, and serving great food to pair, they’re looking for those with great customer service and working with a team. Tidy up that cover letter and resume, and send it through those tubes to info@lunnsmill.beer.

And if getting your feet (and probably hands and knees) wet in a brewery is more your speed, Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co Brewing is looking for an Assistant Brewer to join their team. With more production capacity coming soon, they’re looking to double production staff with a full-time Asst Brewer position. No previous commercial experience is required, though homebrewing and a thirst to learn more are both big assets to the job. While a seasonal job now, this could become permanent. Check out their Careers page to learn more and how to apply!

As sometimes happens with nearly 200 breweries and ciderhouses in the region, a few things fall between the cracks. Wel, that happened last week as we were touting the awesome beers and brew days that happened in celebration of International Women’s Day. Let’s get you up to speed with a few more releases and brew days that happened across the region Monday:

The women of Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing came together in late February to design and brew Shine!, an American Pale Ale. Using the Pink Boots hop blend of Ahtanum, Cashmere, Citra, Loral, and Sabro, the beer features massive citrus and tropical notes, but low on bitterness. With a clean, light body with a silky mouthfeel, the beer also has a touch of herbal notes poking through as well. The Pink Boots blend supports scholarships and educational efforts to increase numbers and improve representation of women in the beer sector, and Upstreet is also making donations locally to the PEI Association of Newcomers to Canada, in support of their Women’s Group. You can grab Shine! on tap and in cans at the brewery taproom and Craft Beer Corner, and check out the IWD 2021 playlist DJ Grace put together so you can rock out to some awesome tunes at home enjoying the beer. Shine On!

In Downtown Dartmouth, two women of New Scotland Brewing designed, brewed, and released Divine, now on draught at their taproom. Already heavily involved in the brewing process since the brewery opened in 2018, Jan Gillespie teamed up with newer member of NSBC, Charlie Parent, to bring to life this Session IPA. Dry-hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Sabro, tropical notes of pineapple and a hint of coconut dance on the palate. Taking this 4.0% ABV beer to the next level are additions of dragon fruit and hibiscus flower, for a bright orange hue and even more tropical fruit. Currently on tap at their spot at 91 Alderney Drive, there should be some kegs in the wild around HRM soon.

And in “coming soon” IWD brews, Annapolis Brewing Company hosted an official Pink Boots Brew Day, inviting women from Church Brewing, Lunn’s Mill, and Sea Level to their brewery in Annapolis Royal. Using the Pink Boots Hop Blend, they put together a stronger New England IPA, big on flavour but low on bitterness. We’ll have the full details when the beer is released later this month, of course!

Same for the crew at Brasseux d’la Cote, who invited in three other Acadian Peninsula breweries and MTB group Sirènes en Cavale in to brew a beer made with barley grown and malted on the Acadian Peninsula thanks to the new facilities at Distillerie Fils du Roy, who also participated in the brew day along with Houblon-Pêcheur and Brasserie Retro.

Avaloners (Avalonians?) looking to celebrate the move down to Level 4 can check out Bannerman Brewing Co. for their new pilsner, Casual Acquaintance. Their take of the German-stule of pilsner features Saaz and Ella hops that lend grassy, herbal and fruity notes. Coming in at 5% ABV, you can find it now in 16 oz cans and for growler fills at the brewery, and cans may be making it to some of the better beer stores around the peninsula too!

The joyful droids at Good Robot are releasing a crisp beer this week that is true to the Halifax water, true to their roots, and is a lovely release for our warming weather. Introducing the Ten Thousand Pound Pilsner is a 4.5% ABV Czech Pilsner, which should be very true to style due to the Halifax water profile being so similar to that of Pilsen, Czech Republic. Hopped with Perle and achieving 31 IBU, this should have a classic floral taste with a mild cracker sweetness with a crisp and palate cleansing mouthfeel. Pick this one up today from the retail shop or order online. And they’re pleased to announce that as of today, their taproom has reopened with everything you’d expect from the Robie Street space. Starting this weekend, they’ll be doing a small brunch as well for all future weekends. 

Never a stranger to new releases, Brunswick Street’s brewery, 2 Crows, brings a new release available now. Starflight is an oak fermented saison at 4.4% ABV and 28 IBU. Brewed last July with a base of Shoreline Pilsner malt and hopped with Sterling and Bramling Cross, it was then dry hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Sterling. After 6 months it came out of a large oak foedre and was allowed to naturally carbonate and can condition for 4 more months before being ready to release to the public. Pick this one up from the taproom or order online for shipping all over the country. 

Back on the sunny shores of the Island, PEI Brewing Company is releasing a beer to help ease us into the warmer weather (it’s coming, right?). Gahan’s Beacon Blonde Ale comes in at 4.5% ABV and is lightly hopped to the tune of 12 IBUs. Expect a medium to high carbonation level, a crisp mouthfeel and some light sweetness in the finish. Beacon is available now in 4 packs of 355 mL cans at PEI BC’s three Charlottetown-area locations with wider distribution through PEI LC and ANBL coming soon. 

We’ve got a fun one from one of the hidden gems of the NS beer scene: Lunn’s Mill is releasing a saison this week. Le Domaine is a strong 8.2% saison that is fruity, spicy with a smooth caramel finish. Brewed with Pilsner, Munich, wheat and rye malt. Fermented with Escarpment Labs Old World Saison blend, this has a slightly floral aroma with a touch of a boozy finish. This one is available now in the taproom for pints and growlers. This will be released in cans in coming weeks. 

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has a new hazy IPA out this weekend with the release of Expat. This is a double dry hopped version of the style, made exclusively with Eclipse hops from Australia. Look for a hazy, yellow appearance and big citrusy aromas of mandarin and oranges on the nose, along with some pine notes. Expat comes in at a reasonably sessionable 6% ABV. Cans, fills and pints are available at the Portland Street taproom today with a release through the NSLC by the end of March. 

Let’s head to Fredericton next for another hazy IPA from, you guessed it, Trailway Brewing. For it’s newest release, Trailway teamed up with Toronto innovators, Blood Brothers Brewing. The two breweries collaborated virtually to design Whales All Day Double IPA. Coming in at 8.5%, this DIPA features Citra, Sabro, and the experimental hop HBC 630. Look for lots of tropical notes, with Sabro’s signature coconut profile, along with mango, tangerine, stone fruit, vanilla and bubblegum. You can find it now in cans and on tap at the brewery, or for delivery via their webstore

We’ve got another release this weekend that will be soon packaged for distribution, but this one is from the Homebrew Competition winner, Tim Gregory. Famous for his other Big Spruce canned staple, Tim’s American IPA which won the inaugural Competition in 2013, Tim comes back with Das Schmeckt Gut!, a Sticke Altbier at 6.7%. This delicious beer style has a nice copper appearance with a great balance of malt and hop bitterness. Available now on tap in Nyanza, this has been released in 650ml bottles and will be available online, with other keg accounts confirmed at Battery Park and Hopyard

In a normal year this would be a post chock full of news and brews about St. Patrick’s Day (or Paddy’s Day, but please not St. Paddy’s Day, and absolutely-goddamn-not St. Patty’s Day). Such are the times upon us, however, that one of Halifax’s most notorious nights of celebration won’t be nearly as messy as in “normal” years. For those of us who walk downtown that means not having to remember to be extra observant of where we step the next morning, but it’s certainly a downer for those of Irish descent (or “Irish for the day,” in many cases) that they won’t be able to get their big drink on this coming Wednesday night. Bless ‘em, our local Irish Pubs are doing the responsible thing and not making a big deal of it, with The Old Triangle and Durty Nelly’s going so far as to be closed that night. Because these folks are losing what is traditionally an excellent night of business, Propeller Brewing is stepping up to help them out a little by giving away 7 gift packs, each containing a 4-pack of Prop’s seasonal Irish Red (in the form of a gift card) plus a $50 gift card to a local Irish Pub (Durty Nelly’s, The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, Seamus David’s Pub, Jamieson’s Irish Pub, Celtic Corner, Finbar’s Irish Pub, Finbar’s Portland Hills). To enter all you’ve got to do is like the Ig or Fb post, follow Propeller on that platform, and cheers a friend in the post’s comments.  You have until 11:59 PM on Monday, March 15th, to enter; winners will be determined via random draw and announced on Paddy’s Day (Wednesday, March 17th). And whether you win or not, or in Halifax or not, do keep your local Irish-flavoured watering hole in mind over the coming weeks; like everyone else in the food service and hospitality industry, they could use some help right now. And speaking of the contest’s sponsor Propeller, they have just reduced the order size needed to qualify for free delivery in HRM. That means you can have a flat of their Prime Lager delivered to your home for just $40! Peep their online shop for that and other options. Delivery is just $5 if under the threshold.

In other seasonally-tinted news, we told you a couple of weeks back about Lake City Cider’s new Kombucha/Cider blend, Green Ginger Cider, well this week they’re offering that up as a package with two 750 mL bottles and a 16oz Lake City stein from which to drink them for $35, a $5 savings. If you can’t get your St. Patrick’s Day on downtown, might as well sip some cider in style at home.

Big congratulations to Paddy’s Brewpub who are celebrating their 20th Anniversary at their Wolfville location, with a 5-day Ceilidh from now until St Patrick’s Day! Live music each evening at 7 or 8 PM, and a special Irish menu includes Boxty, Irish Cream Bash Cheesecake, and of course a proper Irish Red Ale. More details on their Facebook page.

Your weekly reminder of fresh, hoppy goodness at Unfiltered Brewing. This week, you can find the return of the infamous Double Orange Ale, a 7.5% DIPA. Cans are available now on North Street. 

In the job hunt news, the season is picking up and so are some jobs in a fun industry. In Sydney, Breton Brewing is growing and have two positions they’re currently looking to fill. Both seasonal positions, they’re looking for an Assistant Brewer and a Packaging Assistant. Check out the link here to apply and the deadline to apply is Friday March 26th. 

As they prepare for the busy spring and summer season, Sussex Ale Works is bringing on a Craft Beer Adventure Guide to their team. Probably the coolest job title we’ve heard of (except maybe professional beer and cheese taster, anyone hiring?), as their guide you’ll be working in the taproom serving up pints to visitors, telling the stories behind the beers, and making the overall SAW experience a great one for those popping in, or staying for a session. After you read through the above posting, apply here!

Rounding out the jobs today is back where we started, Upstreet Brewing in Charlottetown PEI. They are looking for an Account Manager to join their team, working with retail and licensee customers to keep them up to date on the latest and greatest releases, and seek out new spots to carry Upstreet on the Island, as well as across the Maritimes. If you love beer, and love helping sell it, this is the job for you! Check out the full job description here, and apply right meow!

Seeing as how we’re running a little behind, most folks reading this will already be past the halfway point on their last Friday of February, which in a normal year would feel like enough of an accomplishment in our region, but where March will also mark an entire year of pandemic, it feels even more like something to celebrate. Fortunately, there’s lots to tell you about this week in regards to boozy beverages in our region that can help you with any celebrations you choose to do. With community spread in evidence, folks in NS are encouraged to consider the possibility that we may see some tightening up of the restrictions again in the coming week and to add that to the factors that inform their purchasing this weekend. Producers in all four provinces are doing a great job making their products available through responsible means, whether that’s Atlantic-, province-, or local area-wide shipping, curbside pickup, or socially distanced retail. We’re all for rewarding that consideration and effort whenever possible and helping all these breweries, cideries, and meaderies survive to see the end of this madness!

The Change is Brewing Collective is launching their 5th collaborative product this weekend, partnering with Boxing Rock in Shelburne to release Back to Birchtown, a 6.4% ABV Old Stock Ale. Amber in colour, this is a modern take on what may have been available during the days of the Black Loyalists who settled in the region – malty and smooth now, and designed to stand up to aging quite well. The beer is being debuted at the Boxing Rock Taproom at 218 Water Street in Shelburne, with the event kicking off at noon on Saturday, February 27th. Members of Change is Brewing will be joined by Emily Tipton of Boxing Rock, Sheila Scott of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, Vanessa Hartley of SEED Shelburne, Lauryn Guest of the Buy Black Birchtown Campaign, to learn about their groups’ history and future. All proceeds from the collaboration are being donated in support of Change is Brewing and the Black Loyalist Heritage Society.

Due to COVID restrictions, reserving a seat in advance is required, 902-875-2282. And for those not able to join in person, the event will be live-streamed through the Collective’s Instagram and Facebook pages, so be sure to tune in! Those in attendance are invited to visit the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in nearby Birchtown, who are opening their doors that afternoon, 2 – 4 PM. The beer can also be ordered today on the Boxing Rock webstore, where the full package includes a fabric mask commemorating the collaborative brew, and a ticket for entry to the Heritage Centre to be used in the future.

Don’t forget that this is also the last week to donate to Change is Brewing in their support of BIPOC South Shore’s “Buy Black Birchtown” campaign, in support of an 8-acre Retreat and Learning Centre in the community, a place for people of colour to “rest, resist, and organize for Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty”. They are ¾ of the way to their goal of raising $20,000 (as of publishing), which has allowed the CiBCollective to become full members in the Centre, and sponsor membership for two more groups, working towards a third, before the end of February. If you have the means to donate, or just want to learn more, please check this link.

First opening their brewery and retail space in 2019, Smokehouse Nano Brewery has now opened a taproom in the heart of Berwick, Nova Scotia. Located at 134 Union Street, the taproom and retail spot is open from noon daily, closing at 6PM Sunday through Thursday, and 8PM Wednesday through Saturday. A full dozen beers are on tap for enjoyment in house, with most available in growlers or cans to go once you’ve chosen your favourites. One of those favourites may be Noonan’s Pride, a 4.2% ABV Dry Irish Stout, featuring massive coffee flavour and aroma, with a smooth mouthfeel and dry finish. Sadly, due to its small batch size, this one is an in-house-only treat! Smokehouse’s website social media (Fb/Ig) has their latest offerings, perfect to get you salivating now!

With several successful breweries and cideries already present on Prince Edward Island, it was only a matter of time before somebody got the mead bug (bee? Hah!). And while we don’t have our finger on the pulse so much with honey beverages, we did manage to notice the opening of Horns of Odin Craft Brewery on St. Peter’s Road in Mount Stewart (sharing a building with the Bedford Irving). Owner Chuck Gallison decided to start the business after a fateful trip to Iceland a few years ago, and as you may be able to tell from the name, he’s very much aware of the connection between Vikings/Norsemen and mead. The term “mead” at its most basic means a fermented honey beverage and covers a fairly wide variety of liquids ranging from still to sparkling and dry to sweet, possibly containing herbs, spices, and/or fruits, and with ABVs from low single digits all the way up into the teens. That said, for the pedants amongst us there are usually specific terms for these variations. Right now the brewery is focussed on producing melomels, which generally refers to fruited meads (although there’s even more terminology for particular fruits), and currently they’re coming out in a wine-like 8 – 12% ABV. Their current lineup of available products includes Hopped Crabapple, Strawberry, Mixed Berry, Hopped Mixed Berry Beet, and Cherry, but they’ve also had Mountain Ash and a Pomegranate is said to be in the works! You can read more about the brewery in this Saltwire article, or stay tuned to this space where we hope to continue to cover new and interesting products coming from Horns of Odin. Skol!

Amazingly, we’ve got even more mead news for you this week, as Mountain Meadworks has teamed up with Compass Distillers in Halifax on a special collaboration brew that takes mead making to the Nth degree with the assistance of distillation. The starting point was a Mountain Meadworks mead that was sent to Compass to be distilled with a variety of Nova Scotia botanicals, including juniper, spruce tips, yarrow, and chanterelle mushrooms. The result was then used to fortify a new mead that had itself been infused with rhubarb, lemongrass, and spruce tips. The result is “a complex and harmonious drink” that comes in at an ABV of 7.5% and features a variety of flavor and aroma notes including citrus, juniper, and rhubarb. They’ve called this beverage Ouroboros, after an ancient symbol dating back to the Egyptians, but also found in many other traditions including Norse, Hindu, and Mesoamerican, among others. Usually a snake (or a dragon!) swallowing its own tail, it is sometimes also depicted as two (or more!) creatures swallowing each others’ tails in a loop. Intended to reference eternal renewal and how things may change form and yet never disappear, we think this is a poetic name for a very intriguing mead. To get it you’ll want to check out their Facebook page to see whether they might be at a farmers market in your area any time soon or to contact them to place an order.

An annual fall release from Trailway has been their Rascal Imperial Stout. Sadly, the beer’s namesake, a very good doggo, passed away this year. In a fitting tribute to a brewery dog, TW took their existing recipe and made it even more awesomer: after making the base beer, they aged it in Heaven Hill bourbon barrel for 7 months! Ode to Rascal was barrel aged with coffee from Milltown Roasters and some vanilla. This beer is full, complex and filled with notes of oak, dark chocolate, and espresso with a sweet vanilla finish. This 8% ABV tasty treat is only available from the brewery (no shipping options) and is only in 500ml bottles. 

In other news from Trailway, they’re hiring a full time marketing and digital content manager. Check out the complete job posting on Career Beacon

The new releases keep coming from Tatamagouche Brewing and they continue to draw inspiration from across the Atlantic, this time with an English Bitter. Haywain is a 5.3% ABV take on the style that starts with Horton Ridge pale malt, Caramel 60 and CaraAroma.  Bramling Cross and EKG hops were used to the tune of 37 IBUS, with some non-traditional late and whirlpool additions to amp up the aroma. There are a variety of ways to try out this beer, but we suggest trying to track this down on cask for the optimal drinking experience. Pins have been sent to the Stillwell Freehouse. You can also find it at other Tata tap accounts and at the brewery in cans and for fills.

Your visits to the Saint John City Market are about to get even better! Uncorked Tours opened their tasting room and meeting space in the market last year, with a patio and dedicated entrance at the corner of Germain and North Market streets. They’ve just announced they will be releasing their own branded Howlers (0.95 litre growlers) next month, and kicking off their Growler program. After coming in and enjoying a sample flight or pint, visitors can fill a growler of their favourite beer for enjoyment at home. Pair that with some fresh produce, cheese, or cured meats from one of the other Market vendors, and you’ve got yourself a perfect afternoon or evening in! In addition to the sweet howler designed by Owner and Tasting Room Manager Nathalie Nadeau, featuring their doggos Penny and Ruby, visitors can bring their own clean 0.95 or 1.89 litre (32 and 64 oz) growlers to fill. And if you’re in a pinch, they have 1 litre plastic containers to fill too. Pre-order your howler now for its first fill March 17th, or if you can’t wait that long, pop by next week for a fill of your own vessel.

To Moncton! To The Shack! Tire Shack Brewing has a few new goodies for those of you in the area. First up, their Hip Hop Series returns with its fifth iteration, each of which showcases a Double IPA that’s massively dry hopped with a single hop variety. Hip Hop Series: Volume 5 showcases Cashmere, a hop that brings great flavours of melon, peach, lemon, lime and a hint of coconut. It comes in at 8% ABV but the smooth drinkability makes it very (dangerously) crushable. This is available for cans, pints and growlers from the taproom today.

Also out this week, they are bringing the spice to the taproom releasing Mango-Habanero Sour, a 3.5% ABV fruity sour with a touch of heat. This one is only available for pints and growler fills at the taproom. 

Staying near Moncton, Flying Boats Brewing is releasing Red Cap, a Peanut Butter Stout. This was a taproom favourite that is now coming out in 473ml cans. Using as its base an English-style double oatmeal stout, it adds the natural peanut butter flavour in the final stages of fermentation. With a strong peanut butter aroma and notes of chocolate, it’s a sweet sipper at 4.8% ABV. Find it at select ANBL locations and the brewery; enjoy it while it lasts!

The City of Lakes’ own Lake City Cider brings a few pieces of news this week. Cardi P is a cider with Nova Scotia plums house-fermented to a rich wine and then blended with a selection of Nova Scotia apples before being rested with cardamom spice. This cider is 6.8% ABV and available in 750ml bottles from the brewery or online for delivery today. 

Also releasing this week is Green Ginger, a cider collaboration with Pop Culture Brew Co. This cider release is a blend of their Darkside Dry cider and the Ginger Kombucha from Pop Culture. This will have flavours of fresh apple with some floral notes and slight ginger spice on the finish. It is also available in 750ml bottles and is a 5.5% ABV blend available only from Lake City’s Dartmouth shop.

Back to a Nova Scotian cider for our next release, as Halifax’s Sourwood Cider has a funky new apple/wine hybrid available this week. And when the perfect name appears, why fight it? Hence, Hybrid, a blend of apples from a 100-year old Golden Delicious that underwent a 4-week maceration period, along with Marquette grapes picked from a vineyard on the Northumberland Strait that underwent an 8-week maceration period before pressing. Neither ferment saw any external yeast added, it was all thanks to the wild beasties already living on the fruits. After blending, a small amount of actively fermenting Northern Spy juice was added to allow a natural carbonation in the bottle. Only 50 cases of this special 10% ABV cider and wine hybrid were produced, so best make your way to their retail/taproom today to secure yours!

Over to Newfoundland, as we continue our journey across the region, for a re-release of a favourite beer, but with a new name and label to support an important cause. Port Rexton Brewing has teamed up with St. John’s Toslow for a few years now, producing a collaborative Sea Buckthorn Sour celebrating the downtown cafe/good beer bar. For this release, however, their efforts have shifted to supporting a group looking to make major changes in the food security of Newfoundlanders. Food First NL works with communities in Newfoundland and Labrador to improve access to affordable, healthy, and culturally-appropriate food. $2.00 from each can of Hold Fast will be going to Food First, with the goal to raise over $5,000. And of course a special release deserves a special label, which was designed by talented local artist Jenna-Wade. You can do your part by grabbing the beer from PRBC’s St. John’s Retail Shop, or at the Foodex in Port Rexton, this weekend, with more locations in between receiving deliveries in the next couple of weeks. You can also donate directly to a food bank or support group in your local region, check out their partners here (also the same list if you are experiencing food insecurity yourself). 

Staple of the rock, Quidi Vidi Brewing brings a new release to their Brewers’ Original series. Nathan’s Kveik Pale Ale is a dry-hopped pale ale with great flavours of honeydew melon and pineapple. Balanced, with a nice graham cracker malt flavour, it is fruity and easy drinking at 5.5% ABV. Available in 473ml cans from the brewery and online, it’s available today.

And speaking of Newfoundland Craft Breweries, their taprooms are currently closed due to the province being in COVID Level 5 (aka, now in the “Restore the Arse” phase), but that does *not* mean they aren’t able to get some tasty beverages in your hands!

  • Bannerman Brewing has recently commissioned a high-speed 16oz/473ml canning machine, meaning they won’t be running out of offerings any time soon. Hit up this page for curbside pickup options.
  • Landwash Brewery is also doing curbside pickup, and have been delivering to many locations on the Avalon. Check their Distro map to find a spot near you!
  • Baccalieu Trail has a pair of newbies on their virtual shelves this week, with Ediacaran Fuse NEIPA and Love Potion 709, a mixed-ferm champagne-inspired Brut ale both available at their retail as well as Marie’s Mini Marts in the area.

In Coming Soon news, Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing is closing in on the completion of their tap room located at 16 Dentith Road, which features plenty of seating, a dozen taps, a stage for live music, and a Mary Brown’s Chicken opening soon next door! To keep the beer a-flowin’, they are looking to hire both Full- and Part-Time Servers to round out their team. Beer knowledge, or willing and interested in learning some, is a major plus, as is being able to work on your feet to keep everyone happy in a soon-to-be-busy spot. The full details of the positions is on their website, and you can fire off your cover letter and resume to Matt@Serpentbrewing.com before the end of the weekend. 

A couple of rare in-person events to mention this week along with a more typically 2021 virtual one!

Modern Brewer’s Village Green is taking over the taps at HopYard Charlottetown today, showcasing 9 fresh and fun beers from the small brewery in downtown Cornwall. The taplist includes favourites found on tap already, like the Sabro Pale Ale and Bitter, as well as plenty of new beauties like NorCal Pale Ale, Dark Mild, and Lagered Ale, and will even mark the debut of the brand new New Zealand Pale Ale. As the name implies, this 5.0% Pale Ale features hops from the land of the kiwis, namely Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. This brew won’t be available in Cornwall until next week, even! On the “what to eat to pair with your beer” tip, HopYard has debuted the “Hola Amigo” menu this week – check out this post for the latest food options! And with just one keg of each offering on tap at the ‘Yard, you’re well advised to head there sooner rather than later!

We told you about this event last week, but a quick reminder about Belgianfest 2021 at Stillwell HQ this Saturday and Sunday. From noon til 10:00 PM both days, Stilly will be pouring some classic and rare Belgian treats with a great mix of kegs and bottles. The team in the kitchen will also be pushing out some Belgian dishes. Check out Stillwell’s social channels for more info.  If you happen to drop in on Saturday you may even see a few of your favorite intrepid bloggers.

For something a little different, tune into a free public lecture from the Nova Scotia Institute of Science this Monday, March 1st. Dr. Gordon McOuat, Director of the History of Science and Technology Program at University of King’s College, will be presenting The Science and Culture of Beer. From McOuat, “This talk will explore those key moments in the long relationship between beer, civilization, and science”. The full details of how to tune in are on their website, so grab a can or bottle of your favourite beer from your local brewery, and get your beer learnin’ on!

And a last few items for your perusal before you get on with your day:

If you’re more in the mood for cider this weekend, head to Truro Brewing Company to check out Cide Hustle. Using freshly pressed juice from Stirling Farms in Greenwich, Cide Hustle comes in at 6.0% ABV, features a hazy appearance and a semi-dry body. Find it on tap at the brewery on Inglis Place today. 

St. Patrick’s Day is mere weeks away, which can only mean one thing – the return of the Irish seasonals! Propeller is first out of the gate with their Irish Red Ale. Their take on the style comes in at a sessionable 5% ABV and combines roasty malt notes with an earthy hop character. Look for it through Propeller’s online store and three taproom locations this weekend.

Fans of good beer in the environs of Windsor, NS, have reason to cheer this week, as the Schoolhouse Brewing taproom is back after a COVID-related hiatus. Look for new things coming out of both the brewery and the kitchen as they get back to business, including a new Russian Imperial Stout on tap that will be benefiting their local food bank. 

Over at Unfiltered, Fist of God is making its return. This 8% DIPA is available now on North Street in cans and via fills if you have Unfiltered glass to exchange.