Unfiltered Brewing

All posts tagged Unfiltered Brewing

Good afternoon, beer fans… everyone sick of Christmas music yet? Great, just making sure we’re all on the same page! As usual, there’s lots going on in the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada beer this week, with lots of new brews from all four corners of our region hitting taps and shelves, just itching to be sipped, guzzled, etc. (was about to start thinking hard of other synonyms to go along with these but it’s already getting kind of late in the day as it is), so let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Normally when we’ve got a huge slew of news from a single brewery, that brewery is 2 Crows, but although they do have something on the go this week (of course they do; see below), this week’s belles of the ball are the lovely folks from North Brewing, who have clearly been saving up to make a big ol’ splash with a new location and accompanying celebratory release, a triple-collaboration release, and a “standard” special release all happening this weekend!!

First up, we mentioned months ago that North had secured a spot to make their return to the right light West side of the Harbour after beginning their existence near North (natch) and Agricola Streets in North End Halifax. That new location is seeing a soft opening this weekend (today, in fact!!) at 501 Timberlea Village Parkway beginning at noon. The space will be retail-only for now, but rest assured there’s a taproom and kitchen under construction that they’re hoping will be ready just after the holidays (we’ll definitely keep you posted on that). You can head on over this afternoon and grab a celebratory cupcake from Delectable Desserts as you load up on your favorite North packaged beer, cider, and seltzer offerings (no growler fills until they’ve got taps in place, of course) as well as merch. They’re planning to be open noon – 8 on the daily for the foreseeable. One of North’s slogans is, “Cheers your neighbour,” we love that they seem to be on a mission to keep making new neighbours to cheers.

Of course, if you’re going to open a new retail location, it makes sense to give the people something new to come and get. Enter Timberbock, a smooth, dark, and malty German lager with plenty of nutty and caramel character. The North team has been itching to make a bock for some time and this fall opening seemed like a great time for it. Fermented with the Escarpment Labs Isar Lager strain, and lagered for two full months, this 6.2% ABV beer is ideal for the cooler weather; maybe grab a couple to enjoy after raking leaves this weekend? As you would and should expect, if you’re closer to one of North’s other retail locations, Battery Park or Cole Harbour, you can get it there too!

Next up is the “triple collaboration” that’s been quite a while in the making. Several years ago, North’s Rozina brewed Neighbours Saison with Jill from Compass Distilling (back when they were neighbours across the intersection of North and Agricola). That beer was then distilled by compass to produce Neighbours Whiskey, now on sale at Compass. Meanwhile, North brewed up a replica batch of the original saison, using wheat, spelt and oats along with a boutique yeast strain to produce a 5.0% ABV beer that they’ve packaged in cans. If that wasn’t enough, Compass also kindly took possession of some of North’s Midnight strong dark Belgian ale, which they socked away in a Neighbours whiskey barrel for a while. The result is being called Midnight Neighbours of course! We’re a day late to tell you about the release party that took place at Battery Park last night, but you can still try a flight of all three products at North’s Tasting Room on Portland Street, at Compass’ tasting room on Agricola St. Meanwhile, the beers will be available at North locations and the whiskey, should you want a bottle, from Compass.

Last but not least in North news, if you’re a fan of the brewery you already know that they love to leverage their friendly relationship with Benjamin Bridge winery and release delightful hybrid liquids for your drinking pleasure. One of those that has previously been released is Blanc, a grisette refermented on some of BB’s Sauvignon Blanc grapes. That one is back and available at North retail locations and for online orders; even better, and as always, $0.50 from each can of this one sold will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

For you Moncton beer drinkers that have been itching for more Tire Shack in your lives, we have some very good news! The brewery received approval from the city earlier this week, ok’ing their re-zoning plans for an expansion. Sure, this means more beer and space in general, but most importantly it means Tire Shack can finally begin work on their barrel-aging program, which they’ve been passionate about starting for some time. It’s a ways away, naturally, but it IS something to look forward to! We should also mention that the Moncton Chamber of Commerce has awarded Tire Shack with their Small Business of the Year award, so congrats to them on that as well!

Oh, don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave without also bringing some beer news from Tire Shack for the weekend. They’re re-releasing two brews today, the first being their Peanut Butter Porter (sometimes known as PBP). A 6.2% ABV Porter featuring an addition of close to 20 kg of real peanut butter, it’s perfect for those of you who crave some of that delicious spreadable in your alcoholic beverages (maybe just don’t go kissing anyone with a severe allergy directly after, mmmkay?). Second is Roman Road, a 5.5% ABV Italian Pilsner dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Czech Saaz, giving a crisp and refreshing beer with plenty of noble hop presence. You’ll be able to find both beers on tap and (hopefully) in cans sometime today at the brewery.

What do you get when you put two birds on ice? Don’t answer that. But 2 Crows is doing an event in support of 4 curlers, as there is a draught-only release and event in support of Team Daigle, a senior women’s curling team kicking off their season in hope’s to get to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (we assume everyone in Atlantic Canada is familiar with this right? It’s Canada’s national women’s curling championship!). On November 25th, the brewery will release Come Around, a tropical and juicy pale ale, loaded with Galaxy and Citra hops. This beer will only be available in kegs and features the first use at 2 Crows of Verdant, a newer, juicy-friendly yeast strain to complement the tropical and juicy flavours from the hop combination. To get your hands on this first release and to support Team Daigle with their year long travel and expenses, you can buy a $20 ticket to the event which covers your first beer and gets you entered into a draw for a slew of door prizes! Hit the 2C website shop under “events” to purchase your ticket in advance. 

Moving over to PEI, Upstreet is releasing a brand new hoppy beer, one that they plan on keeping in their regular line-up throughout the coming winter months. Blue Meanie is a Blueberry Double IPA that was brewed with lots of blueberry juice, and hopped with both Mosaic and Lemondrop varieties. A definite sipper at 8% ABV (well, try to, anyway), the beer is tasting “tart and semi-sweet, with loads of juicy pineapple, blueberry, and lemon flavour”. While you’ll be able to find cans of this one at PEILCC stores in the very near future, the official launch party will be happening at Upstreet tomorrow, November 20th, with live music from Kailee McGuire from 8-9 pm, trivia with Jesse & Jeff from 9-10:30 pm, and more tunes with DJ Whaleskin directly after that, until 11:30 pm. Of course there’ll be plenty of Blue Meanie pouring on tap, and we can only assume cans to takeaway as well. Now, whether this beer was named after the wrestler, or those creepy buggers from Yellow Submarine… we leave that to you to decide.

More PEI news with Village Green with two new beers, both of the hoppy persuasion (if you’re into that sorta thing). Let’s start on the lighter side of things with Strata Pale Ale, an easy-drinking 5.3% APA hopped entirely with, yes, Strata. With descriptors including “strawberry, passion fruit, grapefruit, and dank,” Strata does appear to be an ideal candidate for a single-hop brew, at least on paper! It’s up to you brave Islanders, however, to make your way to VG to decide for sure. And while you’re there, guess you might as well sample their OTHER newbie, a 6.9% IPA they’re calling DUH IPA. Don’t overthink the name, they simply hopped it with some no-brainer hop varieties – Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy – giving a delicious beverage that is “peachy, danky, and citrusy.” Available on tap and in cans!

If you like your hoppy beers with a little more of the “wild” in them, let’s briefly chat about the newest brew from Tanner & Co. Brux IPA was fermented with Saccharomyces brux-like Trois, a strain that isn’t technically wild (like Brett, for example), yet has “wild-like” qualities to it, helping produce beers that can be quite dry and slightly tart. These are the exact qualities that Brux IPA imparts, and with a generous dry-hopping of both Mosaic and Motueka, you can expect citrus and tropical notes to go with it (which sounds like a perfect combination to us!). Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, you can find bottles of this one at the brewery and taproom right now.

What if you’re feeling more in the mood for a low alcohol, non-hoppy brew for a change? Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has you covered with Temperance, a 3.5% ABV English Brown Ale. This isn’t your typical English Brown, however, as it has some lactose added to give it a touch of extra sweetness, as well as boosting the body somewhat (not a bad idea with a 3.5% beer!). It also features organic Earl Grey tea (HOT!) from World Tea House, to make you feel even more that you’ve travelled over the pond for a cuppa with some old relatives… see, feeling transported already and haven’t even tried the beer! Available on tap and in cans, drop by the brewery for a taste this weekend.

In Newfoundland, Bannerman has teamed up with local advocacy for the music community MusicNL, to design and brew a new beer to help kick off Music Celebration Week in the province, taking place from Nov 29th to Dec 5th. The beer, Music and Friends, is described simply as an American Pale Ale hopped with Strata and Nelson Sauvin (we’re going to assume plenty of lovely, tropical fruit aromas and flavours in the beer). Available at the brewery and select NLC stores today, so you can start to prep for the festival a little early!

Bannerman has more than one rabbit up their sleeve this week, as they’re also launching a new hoppy wonder at the brewery today. If you’re a fan of not just hops, but high ABVs as well, Obscure Reference may just be the beer for you! It’s a Triple IPA (10%!) that was dry-hopped with multiple additions of the ever-popular (to most of us, anyway) Mosaic variety. Expect juiciness, fruitiness, and likely a little bit of warmth as this one heads down into your stomach. Available in cans only; look for it to hopefully pop up on tap sometime later next week.

Sticking on the Rock, let’s move over to Landwash, who are re-releasing one beer and launching a brand new one this weekend. The returning favourite is Tidepool Pilsner, a 5% German Pilsner that undergoes an extended period of cold conditioning (Lagering!) after a cool fermentation with Escarpment Lab’s Isar Lager yeast strain. Refreshing and crisp, it’s just what you need after a long, hard day of dealing with family work. We can now do a complete 180 and move to their newest beer, Cozy Partridgeberry. Designed by head brewer Alex as a tribute to his Nan’s Partridgeberry Pie (which you can find at Twinlingate’s Cozy Tea Room and Bakery during their open season), the malt additions were crafted to mimic pie crust. Lactose powder was also added to the boil, along with Mosaic and Barbe Rouge hops. The completed beer was then conditioned on local Partridgeberries, resulting in a brew that is “very berry, but not too sweet”. Both beers are available at the brewery right now, in cans and on tap; look for them to start travelling to other outlets soon. 

And in Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail Brewing have collaborated with the province’s CBN T’Railway, a non-profit group formed to help open and rehabilitate the former railway bed of Conception Bay North. The hard work from these fine folks has led to the 140 km of T’Railway becoming a “vibrant, ecological, and safe route for recreational traffic”. As for the beer that the non-profit and brewery have created, Trail Minder’s Ale is a West Coast Pale Ale brewed with a malt bill containing small amounts of light Caramel and Oat malts, and hopped with Comet, Nugget, Hallertau Blanc, and Eureka. Fermented with a clean American strain, the beer is very dry, “with layers of tropical fruit, but also some classic West Coast pine character”, all followed by a restrained bitterness. You can grab cans at the brewery over the weekend, with $1 from every can being donated to CBN T’Railway to support their continued efforts.  

Would you believe that this year will mark Big Spruce Brewing’s NINTH Home Brew Challenge? While you ponder what that means about how long you’ve been drinking Big Spruce, we’ll tell you that this year’s competition has been announced and it’s a boozy doozy. A style beloved by many beer geeks but relatively uncommon in these parts is the Belgian Dubbel: falling under the category of Trappist Ales, which have been historically brewed in monasteries by Trappist monks, Dubbel is a deep coppery color with plenty of rich malt flavor, some fruity and/or dried fruity ester character, and a light alcoholic heat. Usually coming in around the high 6es for ABV, one of the key aspects of a good one is the fairly dry finish. Warming and comforting, without being cloyingly sweet, a Dubbel may just be the perfect “cold evening in front of the fire” beer and we are certainly excited to think that there will be another one released for us to try coming out of this competition.

About the competition itself, once again Big Spruce has partnered with Escarpment Labs to even the playing field with respect to yeast availability, bringing in plenty of pouches of St. Remy Abbey Ale yeast for prospective competitors (but folks are absolutely welcome to use whatever other yeast they choose to procure). Those interested in competing in this year’s challenge should send an email Real Soon Now™ to jeremy@bigspruce.ca. It costs $25 to enter, and if nothing else entrants are guaranteed a competition t-shirt, quality scoresheets per BJCP practices, and an invite to the gala. Entries must be received by February 5th, 2022 (drop off points to be confirmed), with the judging and gala taking place (with all due and necessary COVID protocols in place and as Provincial restrictions allow) from 4 – 6 PM on February 6th at The Wooden Monkey’s Dartmouth location. That’s not a long time for a style like this, so get your emails out if you’re looking to participate!!

As they’ve done several times over the past few years, members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia have come together to brew a special beer in celebration of Craft Beer in NS and to generate revenue for #nscraftbeer initiatives. This year they did so with the sponsorship of supplier Brew Culture, a relatively new player in the local market, but who are certainly making themselves known through collaborative efforts. Together We Brew is a 5.0% lagered ale that was dry hopped with new school Continental hop Callista, one that marries some noble character with more modern fruity notes. Look for it at NSLC locations throughout the province, but don’t wait too long as this is a limited edition product.

A couple of Beery Birthdays in the region this weekend, but first:

A reminder of the Friday/Saturday tap takeover starting at Bar Brewdock today. In East Duck St. John’s, Dildo Brewing Co is teaming up with Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing to take over the 24 taps. Look for plenty of new beers from both breweries debuting this weekend, as well as the fine folks at Crumb & Pickle taking over the kitchen with burger, dips, schnitzel and more, all vegan and veggie friendly. More details in last week’s post, plus Social Media.

What do you think of when we say “the mecca of craft beer in Atlantic Canada?” If your answer isn’t Stillwell and if you’re reading this and you haven’t made friends with new humans or sampled new beers and new tastes at any of Stillwell’s various locations over the last few years, we would be surprised. (Heck, even one of us got married at the Stillwell Beergarden) Our beloved beer bar turns EIGHT YEARS OLD (!!) this month and they’re celebrating on Saturday November 20th, at Barrington Street HQ starting at Noon. Celebrating as they normally do with birthday cake (heeeey, free cake!), special bottle pours from places we can’t even mention (on and off-menu in true beer nerd fashion), and lots of featured kegs from breweries such as Willibald, Les Grands Bois, Godspeed, Dieu du Ciel, Crooked Stave, Stillwell Brewing, Bannerman and a few more! Also, Joe will be serving up special kitchen treats as well all day. This is free and fun and no advance reservations are required. 

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing turns the big 0-5 this weekend, and they’re inviting you to the brewery to celebrate Saturday, November 20th. Expect raffles, beer, games, beer, snacks, and beer! They’ll also have Elizabeth Nelson kicking off some live music at 5 pm, followed by Saving Sweet Polly at 7 pm. If you bring in a non-perishable food item for the KV Food Basket (no expired peas, we’re onto you!), you get a ballot for a chance to win an “epic prize”. Our guess is a ride on a stuffed black bear with owner/brewer Esty… let’s hope!

And a few last items to whet your appetite for whetting your whistle:

Always keeping us beer folk satisfied in store and online for delivery, Bishop’s Cellar is getting some goodies from Toronto’s own Bellwoods in store this Saturday. Two variants of Jelly King (their delicious dry-hopped fruited, everyday-drinking fruited sour) along with “drink now or cellar for later” options Vines Gamay and Barn Owl 25. Here’s a quick overview of the four releases:

  • Jelly King Cranberry & Tangerine is the base Jelly King conditioned on a bunch of cranberries and tangerine puree coming in at 5.6%. 
  • Jelly King Pomegranate & Lime is the base Jelly King conditioned on real pomegranate and lime at 5.6%.
  • Vines: Gamay is a 2020 wild ale release. Vines is a series of oak aged wild ales that celebrates wine grapes in all manifestations.This 8.0% blend was inoculated with the wild yeast from 2019 red grape skins, aged for a year in oak, and refermented on 2020 Niagara Gamay skins. 
  • Barn Owl 25 is a Foedre Aged Imperial Stout. This spent 2 years in secondary fermentation in new American oak and is 13.2%. 

These are all 500ml bottles and available Saturday November 25th at 10am. 

Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has a new Black IPA out, in memory of their former team member, Bob Allen, the brewery’s first hire. Infinity is a 7.2% ABV take on the style that is dry-hopped exclusively with Chinook. You can find it now at the brewery and tomorrow at the Annapolis Royal farmers market.  

New Ross’ Bulwark Cider is teaming up with the SPCA to raise money for furry friends in need of homes. They’ve made Applsecco Rose Cider which was released at NSLC locations earlier this week. Think a combo of cider and red wine characteristics with tartness, dark fruit flavours and some gentle tannins from the Marechal Foch wine used. $2 from every bottle will be donated to the Burnside SPCA location to help stray and abused animals. Win, win.

We’ll leave you with the always welcomed news of re-releases from Unfiltered Brewing. First up is their 7.5% ABV DIPA, Fist of God. If you’re looking for something a bit more sessionable, check out Lifesaver, their 4.25% ABV blueberry sour. Both are now available in cans and for fills at the brewery, and on tap next door at Charm School.

Happy Thanksgiving Friday! Fall has definitely sprung in the region, with the leaves changing colours and cooler evenings, and our already-short patio season quickly drawing to a close (don’t fear, there are a few outdoor events to tell you about down below…). With the holiday Monday, be sure to check ahead for the opening hours of your favourite local brewery or ciderhouse before heading out, as they may be altered for the day (Sunday too!). Solid representation from all four Atlantic Provinces this week, hopefully satisfying everyone tuning in. And remember that many breweries are shipping within, and outside of, their respective provinces, so be sure to ping them if you read about something here. Be sure to tell them the ACBB crew sent ya! As always, keep drinking the good stuff, supporting your local growers and producers, and we’ll see you again next Friday (if not sooner…)!

Church Brewing in Wolfville released a quad-fecta of new beer last weekend, so let’s get you up to date with those draught-only (pints or crowler fills) offerings. Phantom Altbier is the first of the bunch, a 5.5% Altbier, which is a traditional German hybrid or “lagered ale”. Malt-forward, the beer features some yeast-derived esters (think light apple and banana) on top of the toast and bready notes from the grain bill. A pair of beers in their new IPA Series are Saint John and Saint Paul, named after two members of the iconic Tragically Hip band. Saint John (Fay, drummer) is a 5.8% American IPA, weighing in at about 50 IBU thanks to Magnum, Azacca, Simcoe, and Amarillo added throughout the brew, lending plenty of grapefruit and lime citrus notes with a lingering pine finish. Saint Paul (Langlois, guitarist) is an in-between American and English IPA, again leaning on Magnum for bittering to 50 IBU, with Azacca, Simcoe, and El Dorado finishing off the hop-heavy-lifting. Smooth bitterness, with the sweeter malt notes poking its way through as well. And finally, in a complete left turn, Got You Bae is a 4.0% dry-hopped Sour, leveraging the citrus and tropical notes of Azacca, Simcoe, and Amarillo to differentiate from their Salt Water Joys Gose. All four are pouring at Church now, and are available to go in crowlers from their retail shop on-site.

Just in time for the long weekend, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is releasing a new DIPA, Battleship PM-67. Brewed in memory of Unfiltered-friend Paul McKinnon, this 7.5% DIPA is made with the Cryo Pop hop blend, giving tropical notes including pineapple, stonefruit and grapefruit, finishing with a distinct bitterness. Cans and pints (next door at Charm School) are available now. A portion of the proceeds from the beer will be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation in memory of Paul.

Although they’ve got quite a bit on the go these days, with a kitchen to set up at their Cole Harbour location and an entire new taproom going in out Tantallon way, North Brewing is still putting out the good stuff, including a brand new one, a special version of a previous seasonal, and the return of a much anticipated banger. Let’s start with the brand new one, a variation on a classic style dreamed up by Kolapo, who runs the brewery’s lab QA program, looks after the yeast stores, and is also one of the production brewers on the team. Starting with a classic German Weizen, featuring plenty of wheat and classic German noble hops, to amp up the banana character associated with the style (and no doubt the haziness!) this beer underwent a secondary fermentation on 60 kg of banana purée. The result is “banana-y, wheaty, refreshing and crisp” and comes in at 5.5% ABV. It’s name? Beernana, of course!

In the “special re-release” category, this week sees the return of Coco Pony the barrel-aged version of North’s dessert stout, Twinkle Pony. Early in 2021, they took 800 litres of the original beer, made with lady finger cookies, cold brew coffee, lactose, and vanilla, and spread it amongst 4 whisky barrels from Glenora Distillery, where it sat for several months, picking up plenty of oak and whisky notes. From there it was brought back to stainless, where it was aged on plenty of roasty cocoa nibs from Rousseau Chocolatier and toasted coconut. The result is a burly brew, where sweetness and roastiness meet big chocolate flavor, topped with boozy barrel character, all with a subtle hint of coconut all the way through. Smooth, rich, and decadent, ideal for enjoying slowly on a cool fall evening; but be careful, it packs a wallop at 9% ABV!

And lastly, fans of crispy brews can rejoice, as one of the best in the region is back this week. Sparrow is the brewery’s lovely little bird of a German Pils, a crushable 4.8% grainy beauty that still packs a bit of a punch on the hop side to help keep the finish dry and bringing you back for more. All three of these have been packaged in cans (473 mL for the first two, 355 for the Sparrow) and all are available at the brewery or for online ordering. Speaking of online ordering, they’re running a promo this weekend; if you’re a subscriber to their email list, make sure you check out this week’s email for 15% off orders placed before Sunday at 11:59pm! They’ve also got some sweet new swag up, including Dartmouth Dark socks!

Heading up to the Rock, Bannerman has another release (do we say that every week? Keep the good stuff coming!) available now. Bruised Ego is a DIPA that is smooth and fruity. Made with flaked and malted oats for a creamier, smoother mouthfeel, this used dry hops of Mosaic and Barbe Rouge. The beer was then conditioned on lots of raspberries to bring some jam and bold fruitiness. It is available today in cans, on tap and growlers at the brewery and cans at Marie’s and Urban Market.

Staying in Newfoundland, we have a pair of new brews from Quidi Vidi. Starting in the taproom, they’ve got Junior, a super session IPA that keeps it tasty and hoppy. At a paltry 2.3% it still manages to pack a punch of hop flavours bringing in candied orange, citrus fruits, some dark raisin, and a little bit of mint. This one is available only on tap in the taproom.

Reaching further onto the big screen, the brewery has partnered with the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival for the third straight year. Director’s Cut: Strawberry Kiwi Sour is a 5.8% sour that will be featured at NLCs and convenience stores across the province. For the third year in a row, the labels on the cans are done by 32 female artists from Newfoundland and Labrador, so there are 32 different pieces of artwork from female creatives for the same beer release. The Film Festival runs from the 13th until the 17th of October, but the beer is available today, and in stores starting October 11th.

Three in a row for Newfoundland, as Bay Roberts’ Baccalieu Trail Brewing has a limited release available now. Dyes for it is a lagered ale, Kolsch-style ale brewing with Pilsner and Munich malts and balanced with late additions of German Hersbrucker and French Strisslespalt hops. This 5% crispy, lager-like beer will have great Noble Hop aromas and is a label and name conceptualized by one of their employees, packaging technician extraordinaire Haley. It’s available in 473ml cans at the brewery, at Marie’s locations. 

Go for it, Connect Four with Newfoundland breweries, as Boomstick Brewing brings an Oktoberfest release to Cornerbrook. Dunkelweizen is a dark wheat beer featuring smooth, maltiness, with great aromas of fruit and spice. This is a 5% release that is well balanced and is easily drinkable. You can find this on tap at the brewery or in 473ml cans in Corner Brook and will soon make its way to the St. John’s area.  Be sure to check out the brewery’s Oktoberfest celebrations this Saturday October 9th.

Heading back down to NS, where Good Robot has a new Goodwill Partner (formerly Goodwill Bot) in the form of The Limestone Group. You may know the LG from previous Good Robot joints, or that GR’s own Giovanni Johnson is one of the prime movers of the group. In short, they’re a group of native Bahamians living in Halifax who love nothing more than to share their Caribbean culture through tropical beverages (most often beer and beer-adjacent) and good times. Based around the idea of a “switcha” which is a heat-beating citrus beverage from the Bahamas powerful enough to make you “switch up” your face, Hard Limeade Switcha is a fruited radler, which means there’s some beer in there as well. At 5.7% ABV, it’s a bit heartier than your average radler, but we’re guessing that’s to help it bear up against the citrus punch. Being part of the Goodwill Partner initiative, proceeds from this one will go towards the good work of the Limestone Group. Although you can grab cans of Switcha now, you might also want to consider checking out the official launch event happening on October 23rd at GR; keep your eyes peeled on GR/LG social media for more info on that!

The pride of Ashdale, just east of Windsor, Nova Scotia, Meander River Farm and Brewery has a fresh seasonal release, their 2021 Homegrown, a wet-hopped ale. Each year the hops in this release change and this year brings  a light, zesty, sessionable ale made solely with hops from their farm, namely the Galena and Newport varieties. Having a slightly hazy appearance and boasting zesty and wild berry aromas, this 4.5% session ale has medium bitterness with plenty of grassy notes and a crispy finish. Take a lovely fall drive to pick it up from the farm or order online. 

Tatamagouche is famous for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, and coinciding with this year’s modified events, Tatamagouche Brewing is releasing the Sepia Marzen. This version relies primarily on Munich malt with a touch of Vienna and malted wheat, plus some small volumes of speciality malts for colour. The boil stage of the brewing process was extended to extract as much malt character as possible. This is a style that requires enough hop character and bitterness to balance the delicious, bready, sweet malt. Tata used Magnum hops for bittering and some Mittelfruh and Tettnanger as late additions. A partial natural carbonation was also used to create a drinking experience that screams “one more”. Per the style, expect notes of bread crust, toast and malt. We know that this one will be on tap at the Stilly BG event this Saturday, but you’ll likely be able to find it at the brewery soon as well. Keep an eye on their online store for availability in cans later this month.

Newfoundland seekers of gluten-free beers should check out Port Rexton this weekend for a fruited take on their Gluten-Free Sour. This version includes the elusive haskap berry, giving notes of jelly beans, blueberry and some sour apple. Haskap berries are gaining popularity as a superfruit for their antioxidants and other health benefits (don’t @ us blueberry lobby groups). The sour comes in at 5% ABV and is available now in Port Rexton on tap or in cans. Look for it to hit the shelves at the St. John’s retail location next week.

We’ve only got one New Brunswick brewery to mention in this section this week, but they’re making up for the slow NB news week with the release of two beers. Up first for Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is Killed by Death a 10% Triple IPA. This TIPA features a massive dry-hop of Mosaic, Citra and Vic Secret. Expect tons of tropical and citrus aromas in this big hazy IPA.  Up next is Cherry Pie Sour, a 6% kettle sour featuring pie cherries and the addition of some species to give a hint of graham cracker. Both beers are available now in cans/growlers to go and on tap for pints.

Although their oeuvre remains vast and varied, you may have noticed over the last year or more that Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing has put some real emphasis on their lagers. From the traditional continental stylings of Letna and Waltz and Milosh and the recent smoky Signals, to the new world and old world with a twist entries like Dos Cuervos, Vitis, and Refresh, if you’re a lager lover it’s been a great ride. And that ride continues with this week’s new entry, a “rustic lager” they’ve dubbed Harrington. What’s a rustic lager, you may ask? I’m not sure we know either, but what we can tell you is that it’s got an interesting story behind it. PEI maltster Shoreline Malting decided to explore the malt variety of the same name this year, a variety that was incredibly popular from the mid-80s to the late-90s and then all but disappeared. Interested in seeing how it compared to more modern strains, they arranged to get some, PEI grown, and put it through the malting process. And where Lagers tend to be somewhat better styles for showing off the character of malt, it should be no surprise that they chose 2 Crows to put the malt through its paces. But that wasn’t the end of the fun: 2 Crows were not alone in this brew, they brought in another one of Canada’s best breweries to share the fun, Indie Alehouse out of Toronto. Of course, all the malt in this brew was the Shoreline Harrington, to which some raw wheat was added, and the grist was mashed with a schedule designed to maximize foam and stability. A little bit of Mandarina Bavaria and Diamant hops were added to provide the requisite balance, and the resulting wort was fermented low and slow with Escarpment Labs’ Isar Lager yeast strain. Post-fermentation this was was lagered long and low, resulting in a 3.9% ABV and 20 IBU beer where fresh, bready malt is the star of the show, with some subtle floral notes, and an ultra crisp finish. Out now in cans available from the brewery, there will be a launch party for it tomorrow evening (Saturday, October 8) from 4 – 10 PM as part of the Patio Lanterns Festival, with DJ CPR, Disco Stu, DJ Douvet, playing tunes, soft pretzels for snacking from Gingerbread Haus, and plenty of Harrington to drink! 

A couple Oktoberfest reminders, an Anniversary celebration, book and cider launch, plus a few more things to get you out the door this weekend!

If you’re in Charlottetown and not ready to be done with Oktoberfest yet, we remind you that PEIBC is doing their OktoberFEAST this weekend. See our post from September 24th for the info and some links to more!

And if you’re in Halifax (or planning to be tomorrow), a reminder that the Stillwell Beergarden is celebrating Oktoberfest tomorrow, from noon until *chilly*, with ten German-inspired beers on tap, plenty more in cans and bottles, including the Tata Sepia Marzen above and plenty more from NS, NB, and PEI, plus imports from Ontario (Sonnen Hill and Tooth & Nail). Sausages and pretzels, roving live music, and plenty more! Check this IG post for the full taplist, and we’ll see you there! 

Cornwall’s Village Green is celebrating their one year anniversary this Saturday (October 9) with food, music and of course, great beer. Let’s start with the beer. In addition to their core lineup, VG will have a new release, a sneak peek at a full upcoming release, and returning favourites. Up first is a new version of Cream Ale. Coming in at 5.2% ABV, this one features Pilsner malt, malted wheat and flaked corn in the malt bill, and a touch of Perle hops to round things out. Cream Ale will be on tap and has also been canned if you’re looking to grab something to go. Look for the sneak peek at Wheelie’s Hazy Pale, inspired by the creepyful antique toy discovered in the province last year, which took the internet by storm. We’ll have full details on it, and its launch event with PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, next week. This weekend’s celebration will also see the return of fan favourite Tripel. This one was brewed and first released back in the Spring, but one keg was cellared for the anniversary. The 9.4% take on the style recently won a Bronze medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards and will be on tap for 5 oz pours. Food will also be available on-site starting at noon care of Sneaky Cheats in the form of smoked bologna and tofu sandwiches. Freshly shucked PEI oysters will also be available. This fully-vaxxed event goes from 12 to 9:00 PM. Cheers to the Modern Brewer and everyone at Village Green!

Another event combining great food and fermented beverages is happening Saturday at the Sourwood taproom. Bryan Picard, owner of The Bite House in Big Baddeck, Cape Breton, will be releasing his new cookbook and conjunction with some new cider releases. For those who don’t know, prior to Covid, The Bite House was an extremely sought after restaurant on Picard’s property that typically sold out a year’s worth of reservations within minutes each year. Since then Picard has been focusing on catering, pop-ups, developing the cookbook and doing cool collabs, like this one with Sourwood. Let’s get to the ciders. First up are two made from an unknown variety of yellow apples from a 100-year old tree on the Bite House property. Unknown Legend is a piquete style cider made with the apples. Juice from the same apples was then combined with Bite House water to make a smaller piquette-style version, Petite Legend. Both will be available on Saturday in bottles. The release will also include Field Blend, a canned cider using a variety of apples foraged from the Bite House grounds. Swing by Sourwood from noon to 4:00 PM on Saturday to grab a cookbook, meet the author, and enjoy some interesting ciders.

Spreading joy to all and creating safe spaces is exactly what beer and society should be. Queer Garden is a cooperative in North End Halifax that is a backyard feel establishment with food, drink and more! Available by reservation only, check out their website and their Instagram page for more info. They’re currently featuring some beer from Upstreet, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. They are launching a fundraiser for a permanent more inclusive location, and are holding two events this weekend to see that come to fruition. Sunday, Oct 10, from 2 – 8 PM, they are holding a “Goodbye Summer” event at their location. DJs all day, great fun and booze!

Here’s the quick hits portion of our program for this week, with a bunch of new releases around:

The leaves are changing, which can only mean two things in Cape Breton – traffic jams on the Cabot Trail and Fall seasonal beers. Breton Brewing is getting in on the action with the return of Maple Lager and Oktoberfest Lager. The former is made with maple syrup sourced from the island, and features notes of caramel, bread and maple with a 5.5% ABV. Oktoberfest is a 5.3% Märzen-style lager brewed in collaboration with Saltbox Brewing. Per the style, look for a big bready malt profile with enough bitterness to keep things balanced. Cans of both are available at the taproom now and for delivery in HRM/CBRM.

In New Brunswick (between Quispamsis and Sussex), Hampton Brewing has a new release from their new brewery. Straddling the Fence is a Session Ale featuring their newest recipe with a low bitterness, smooth finish and flavours of passionfruit, strawberry mango and citrus. Different base malts were used here, with honey malt adding a bit of sweetness. This is available now only from the brewery. 

If you’re near Moth Lane Brewery on PEI, make sure you check out Stargazer, a new 5% seasonal fall release with fresh hops right from the Island. Well-balanced and a delicious sipper, it is available now from the brewery. 

Over in Windsor, Schoolhouse Brewery is back with a new release from their Local Hop Series, Freshman is a NEIPA in its 2021 iteration. Made with the freshest possible hops (not dried, freshly picked wet hops) is a 5.9% hazy New England IPA that is available today in 473ml cans. 

And lastly, but not leastly, there’s beer to be made and somebody’s got to do it. Could that person be you?

If you’re looking for a brewing position in our region you could do worse than the gorgeous South Shore of Nova Scotia. Fortunately, if that’s your bent, there’s one available! Saltbox is looking for someone to brew in their 10 BBL brewhouse and take part in the production of their beers, ciders, and RTD products to feed their distribution channels including local sales, the NSLC, private stores, and tap accounts. As head brewer, you’d lead recipe formulation, yeast management, ordering, and coordinating distro. There’s also a SABCO system for experimental brews, as well as the smaller systems at King Street Beer in Bridgewater and Lightship Brewery in Lunenburg. A real soup to nuts opportunity! Look for all the details, including how to apply, at this link.

Fall is nearly here, so that means a few things are here with certainty: Oktoberfest (!), Pumpkin Ales and rising COVID-19 cases. As we get excited for new releases and events currently going on, we see rising cases and lockdowns in Alberta. Make sure to enjoy what you can safely for yourself, friends and family and remember to check out all of the latest restrictions as part of your never-ending beer journey. Now, onto the fun stuff!

Let’s kick things off with a brewery that hasn’t graced these pages in a while. Digby/Kingston’s Roof Hound Brewing has released Aurora Haze, a 4% ABV session IPA. The beer gets its name from the Aurora aircraft that frequent the CFB Greenwood, near Roof Hound’s Kingston location. This hazy SIPA exclusively features Amarillo hops, which were only added during the dry hopping phase, keeping the bitterness low while pulling out all of those great hop aromas. Bottles and pints are available now at the Kingston location. 

In lovely Port Rexton, Newfoundland, their hometown brewery continues to release new and returning favourite beers, with a pair of collaborations out in the last couple of weeks. Celebrating the BonRexton GranFondo, which took place in Hurricane Larry’s wake last Saturday, they released Headwind Pale Ale. This 4.8% easy drinking ale is the right balance of citrus and stone fruit, with a touch of bitterness too. Still on tap at the brewery, as well as in cans at their St. John’s Retail Shop. And returning in cans is Shoreline, a Salted Stout, featuring salt from the Newfoundland Salt Company, headquartered in nearby Bonavista. Big roast and chocolate notes are complemented by the light minerality and mouthfeel in the 6.5% beer.

And congratulations to co-owner and Head Brewer Alicia MacDonald who will be in the keynote “Women in Beer – Equity, Inclusion and Solidarity” during this weekend’s Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference. Joined by other women in the beer biz, she’ll be joined by other female brewers and those selling beer, to talk on their experiences and what needs to be done to include more in the beer world. Still awaiting details if it can be streamed or watched later, but keep your eyes on the front page for the streaming of the Awards Saturday night…

Speaking of hometown breweries, Tatamagouche Brewing has released the latest in their Intertidal Series this week, their foray into hop-forward beers. Building on the Ekuanot Rye IPA and Idaho Gem, comes Intertidal Tiny. Living up to its name, this is a 3.5% Session IPA, which Brewer Chad Ellis built to impress from the ground up. Starting with Horton Ridge Pale and Vienna as the base malts, Malted Wheat, Malted Oats, and Chit malt rounded out the grains. Walking the tightrope of low alcohol without being too thin, a hotter mash was used to enhance the mouthfeel. Hops-wise, the fun started with mash additions, followed by big whirlpool and then dry hops after brew day. Focusing on Sabro and Mosaic, with a touch of Citra, the tropical, stone fruit, and citrus are strong with this one, complementing the coconut and lime. On tap at the brewery now, with cans dropping in store and on their webstore any minute now.

Propeller Brewing’s Flat White is back in stock as of yesterday. This white stout features many of the aromas and flavours you’d expect in its darker cousin, but in a format that tricks the eye with its golden colour. Prop’s version uses cold-brewed Java Blend coffee and cocoa nibs, that compliment a creamy mouthfeel and medium body, helped out by the use of flaked oats in the malt bill. Expect lots of coffee and chocolate notes in this 5% ABV take on the style, which also features 30 IBUs to keep those sweeter flavours in balance. Cans are available now at Propellor’s three HRM locations and online for delivery and shipping.

Montague PEI’s Copper Bottom continues their barrel-aged sour program with its latest release this week. Like Bramble and Thicket before it, Empire is a mixed ferm beer that was fermented then aged in oak for six, before being transferred to stainless and hit with loads of peaches before packaging and bottle conditioning. Fruit and funk shine through in this 5.1% beer, which is available in bottles at the brewery and their online shop for delivery Island-wide.

Downtown Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing is having some friendly in-house competition between 3 members of their brewing staff. “The Battle of the Brewhouse” is a draught-only competition at their taproom and patio on Alderney Drive. First up, from Lucas, is Rye Not?, a Roggenbier spiced with mace and Kashmiri chili. Roggenbier translates exactly to “Rye Beer”, which typically has a malt profile of at least 50% malted Rye, but can vary as brewers see fit. Lucas’ version uses 50% and comes in at 5% ABV with balanced sweetness and forward nuttiness, and a slight slickness also characteristic of the rye malt. The Kashmiri chili builds slowly for some pepper heat.

Next up from Chris is SORRY DAD, an American Pale Ale hopped with Chinook, Simcoe and Mandarina Bavaria. It has lovely aromas of pine and orange, well balanced with some finishing orange flavours and full bodied maltiness; a 5.6% and 41 IBU offering that might just please everyone. 

The last beer in the Battle is from head brewer Mike, with New Wave, a Gose featuring local smoked sea salt and lemon grass additions. A twist on a traditional gose, this one was done using a sour mash technique with added salt and coriander as tradition would go, but also with lemongrass and smoked sea salt from Dartmouth’s own Maritime Salt. A very fragrant beer with citrus note and slight salinity and smoke from the sea salt, it comes in at 5.2%.

We’re not sure exactly how the competition works or what spoils go to the winner, but we’re sure that in order to participate you’ll need to head down and drink some beer and you’ll be sure to find out the details if you do!!

Port-au-Port’s own Secret Cove (that’s not too far from Stephenville, Newfoundland) has a new canned release available today that should be fairly widely available on the eastern side of Newfoundland for more to enjoy. Pee-Wee German is a Berliner Weiße with lime and is sure to be a refreshing and tasty release. A style that we enjoy all year around, this 3.5% offering should be easy-drinking, with slight sourness with a kick of lime. It is available in 473 mL cans immediately from the brewery, but also look for this in St. John’s at Marie’s Mini Mart, along with a few other offerings from Secret Cove. 

We started with the Oktoberfest info last week (or was it the week before?), but it’s coming hot and heavy now folks!

Last week we teased some details about the Oktoberfest festivities at Lwr Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar. The fun kicks off this weekend, with a mystery flight of German style beers for Flight School Friday and the beginning of the official two week celebration tomorrow. Circle Saturday the 25th on your calendar for Celebration Day which will feature a wide selection of German style beers from Nova Scotian breweries, a German inspired food menu and free prizes throughout the day. The festivities wrap up with Closing Ceremonies on Saturday, October 3. Check out TAPestry’s social channels (Fb/Ig) for more details.

Hot off the heels of their big US competition wins we mentioned last week, Moncton’s Tire Shack is starting their three weekend long Oktoberfest celebration tomorrow. Euston Park will be popping up a kitchen to serve some authentic German foodstuffs and, of course, there will be a special brew on the go, a Munich Helles they’ve dubbed Helles Yeah! Each weekend, $20 will get you a 1 L stein you can take home after all is said and done, plus your first fill up. Also, the beer has been packaged, so you’ll be able to grab some cans to fill it up again at home!

Montague’s Bogside Brewing is doing an Oktoberfest celebration with a salty, briny twist on Saturday, October 2nd, when they have their OYSToberfest. Two ticketed events are on the slate that day, the first being a Beer School VIP Brewery Tour and Tasting ($25 – tickets here) from 12:30 – 1:30 PM and the second a Shuck ‘U’ demonstration with John Petcoff ($70 – tickets here) from 2:00 – 3:30 PM. From there you can stick around for the Oyster Bar that runs from 4 – 8 PM and two live music events (Keira Loane from 3 – 6 PM and The Broad Cove Boys from 7 – 10 PM). Meanwhile, the brewery is also running a promo on some of their summer products: 20% off purchases of $75 or more on the following products: six-packs of Radler and singles of Sun of a Beach Hopped Sour, Cranberry Wheat, Spirit of Georgetown Gose, Strawberry Sour. Head down to the brewery or place your online order here.

Also on the Island, and last up (for this week, anyway) on the march to Bavarian bliss, is PEI Brewing Company, who are doing their OktoberFEAST on the weekend of October 8th. Starting Friday night at 4 PM with German-inspired food stations along with some not-so-German games (washer toss, cornhole, axe-throwing, and more), there will also be an old school re-release of Gahan Harvest Gold Pale Ale available on draught. On Saturday, things get underway at noon, with all the same games as Friday (except the axe-throwing), plus some game tournaments and other competitions where you can win some PEIBC gift cards. All ticket holders will also receive a 20oz beer stein and their first fill. Tickets are for Friday and Saturday are separate, and for Saturday there’s also the option to tag on an additional ticket for a post-OktoberFEAST album release show by Andrew Waite starting at 8:30 PM.

And here’s your last few quick hits to help inform your weekend beer purchases:

Earlier this summer, the folks at Breton put together a proper French saison they called Île Royale Saison with the folks from Fortress Louisbourg Association to be served at La Taverne Storehouse. With the season winding down, they’ve packaged what was remaining in cans so folks closer to town can enjoy it. We’ll warn you, though, a very small amount is available, so get yourself to the brewery (or put your online order in) in a hurry if you want to try it!

Lastly, if you missed the previous release, there’s a fresh batch of DOA available today at Unfiltered Brewing on North Street. Grab it in cans to go or find it on tap next door at Charm School now.

And if you’re a big fan of Citra hops but are closer to Fredericton than Halifax, Trailway has got you covered for  a citrus hoppy kick, as their Seeing Citra is also back this week. Sit down in the taproom for a pint, have a growler filled, or grab some cans to go!

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has a lovely new liquid out that’s thoroughly Nova Scotia and shows what can happen when producers get together and try new things. Lake City married their classic Darkside Dry cider with Caldera Whisky from River John, NS, to produce Apple Jack, an 8.0% ABV concoction that brings notes of oak and spicy rye with plenty of apple presence. Available now in cans from the cidery.

And finishing up today on the Rock, where Landwash has a new “quick little lager” they produced with the KRISPY kveik lager-targeted yeast blend from Escarpment Labs. Coming in at 4.5% ABV and featuring German Saphir hops, look for a bit of spice and even some candied orange; a nice little beer to see out the summer! Look for it at the brewery now and elsewhere (hopefully) soon.