Village Green by Modern Brewer

All posts tagged Village Green by Modern Brewer

If you felt the heat wave earlier this week, we hope you were stocked up with local treats to keep you cool. Or if you live on the Avalon or Labrador, maybe something to keep you warm during yesterday’s flurries! This weekend looks like another sunny one across Atlantic Canada, so why not stock up and enjoy them safely at home or get out on a patio if you’re comfortable! Either way, we know our local libation lovers will support their own establishments as best they can and we’re back again to help spread the news!

As PEI Craft Beer Week winds down this weekend, Upstreet Brewing is launching an annual favourite collaboration with The Inn at Bay Fortune. Fireworks, named after the kitchen at Chef Michael Smith’s on-farm restaurant, is a Farmhouse Ale featuring a whole bunch of local grain, malt, and other special ingredients. Island Malt House-grown and -malted Pilsner, Biscuit, Wheat, Toasted Wheat, Buckwheat, Malted Oats, and Rye made up the grist bill, giving the yeasty beasties a whole bunch of different sugars and other carbs to munch on over the course a several months. After the boil of the wort was completed, Ekuanot and Pekko hops were added to the whirlpool (during a rest before cooling), and once fermentation subsided, Lemondrop was added to amplify a citrus character. During that conditioning time, ingredients straight from the Culinary Farm on Bay Fortune were added, including more than 200 kg of crab apples, dried marigold, and citrus basil, all hand picked and curated by the IaBF team and Upstreet crew. The resulting beer has floral and earthy notes, with barnyard and hay on the nose, with a light acidity and carbonation to keep it refreshing. The beer is debuting tomorrow at the Upstreet tap room on Allen Street in Charlottetown, with a tasting kicking off at 3 PM. Bottles will also be available at their Craft Beer Corner location downtown, and of course at The Inn at Bay Fortune. And those in HRM may soon be able to grab bottles at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside and private stores as well, so keep your eyes peeled!

Upstreet is also continuing the releases today with the second in their Libra line of non-alcoholic beers, with Libra Hazy IPA. Bumping up the hops from their Libra North Cape Pale Ale, but still in a sub 0.5% ABV package, the beer features loads of Idaho 7, El Dorado, Citra, and Mosaic late in the process, to keep it from being too tongue-coating bitter, while still imparting plenty of great citrus, tropical fruit character those hops are known for. Available in short cans at the taproom, CBC, and online for delivery Canada-wide (soon), as well as other spots in the coming weeks (remember, not alc = wider availability!). Cheers to Mitch, Hogie, and the crew for providing more low- and non-alc beer alternatives to those looking to moderate their intake of alcohol while still having a flavourful drink!

Let’s keep it going with more PEICBW info, as one of the OG PEI breweries welcomes their younger pals to take over their taps tomorrow. The Gahan House will be pouring several of their own After Hours seasonal and one-off brews, while also welcoming Bogside Brewing, Copper Bottom, Lone Oak, Upstreet, and Village Green to pour their latest and greatest beers. Look for new releases, old favourites, and cool change-ups from everyone involved! The pouring starts at 11:30 AM and goes all day and night. And of course be sure to check out the cool new beers and events from Evermoore, Moth Lane, and PEI Brewing Co this weekend, and the rest of the year!

To the mainland we go, stopping in at Spryfield, Nova Scotia’s own Serpent Brewing, with two new beers to tell you about this week. Both are part of their Beer Creation Experience, where the public had a chance to design a Serpent beer, from style, recipe, ingredients, all the way to the label on the bottle. Released last weekend was Pavo Tropical IPA, and while it does not contain any actual fruit, the hops chosen, namely Amarillo, Magnum, and Mosaic, do a fine job of imparting a ton of berry and citrus, with a touch of pine too. At 5.4% and 50 IBU, the hazy IPA (XPA? Big APA?) is perfect for enjoying on their patio this weekend, or in bottles to take away. 

Debuting today is the next in the Serpent BCE, Whatermelon is Wrong Wit You? Taking a cue from NS Premier Rankin’s question to those not following COVID protocol by reducing interactions, this pun-tacularly named beer is a spin on their White Mountain Belgian Witbier, but elevated to the next level. Long-time friend-of-Serpent Nick Sanford has been sampling owner Glen O’Keefe’s homebrew for years, assisted during the brewery construction, and even stepped in to become a Founder of the brewery, and designed Whatermelon based on a homebrew he and Glen had enjoyed on a camping trip years ago. Taking the already flavourful White Mountain recipe as a starting point, even more orange peel was added to brighten the beer, with watermelon added post-fermentation to let the fruit shine through with little distraction. The 5.5% beer is available now in bottles and on draught at the brewery for imbibing on their patio this weekend (and indoors next, Strang-willing). And stop by Saturday and/or Sunday to grab some great Jamaican snacks and meals from Jamdouns Food Truck who will be parked adjacent to the patio!

Heading up to Newfoundland and in particular, Port Rexton Brewing, where the gang have managed to get their beery paws on some 355 mL silver bullets. In celebration of this minor coup (seriously, cans are in wretchedly short supply across North America right now), they’re filling them up with delightfully crushable liquids for your enjoyment. Up first is Whitecap, a bright and refreshing session NEIPA that began its life as a taproom favorite Wet Yer Whistle. With a nice light body and a “sounds like another one” ABV of 3.8%, you’ll find it available today at the PR taproom and also at their St. John’s retail shop. These are only being sold in singles right now and once they’re gone they’re gone until more can stock comes in, as they’re holding some aluminum aside for another light and tasty release next week! And if you’re into beer and outdoor activities in the PR area, you should check out the guided hike around the Skerwink Trail being hosted weekly by PR, Paul Dean and Fishers’ Loft Inn. No fee or registration required, just a desire for a lovely walk and an ear for Paul’s geologic knowledge and stories. The hike will end at Port Rexton where you’ll get your first pint at 50% off. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us! More details available from this Fishers’ Loft Ig post.

Further island vibes from Newfoundland bring a new release from Bannerman this week. Vibe Architect is a 5.0% Witbier which is the first of its kind from the St. John’s crew. Brewed with pilsner malt, flaked wheat, flaked corn and some malted wheat, the hop profile is a blend of European hops that provide great balance. With a true to style flavour profile, expect orange and coriander notes with some nice sweetness from sweet orange peel and spices. This is a renowned and respected style (see: Allagash White) that is complex, subtle and refreshing. This one is available now in cans, on tap at the brewery as well as select Marie’s locations. 

Back down to Nova Scotia, where in the Northern part of the province Tatamagouche Brewing is getting their summer on the go a little early. We told you a couple of weeks ago about the return of Dekorum Lime, which sees their ultra-sessionable Dekorum lager meet treatment with tonnes of lime flavor. Well they didn’t stop there! This week two more variants on that ABV base are available that leverage organic juice concentrates to provide a little summery pizzazz. Dekorum Mandarin and Dekorum Blood Orange are both still 2.9% ABV crushers, each with a slightly different citrus twist. Sounds like an opportunity to grab (at least) 4 cans (OG, lime, and the two debutants) and commence with Dekorum Battle 2021!! That all said, if you’re a Dekorum lover, but not interested in the new fruity variants, check out their current online-only deal, $45 of your finest Canadian dollars for 24 refreshing cans!

Meanwhile, the Tata gang is gearing up for some birthday shenanigans next week as they turn seven years old! We’ll have all the details for you in next Friday’s post, but in advance of that, know that they’ll be running happy hour pricing from Thursday to Sunday on pints at the taproom along with some other on-site promos. There will also be four new beers for you to sample, including two low-abv funky offerings. Check back here next week for the full details on those and maybe keep an eye on Tata’s socials (Fb, Ig, Tw) for more info on the celebrations.

As Halifax and Nova Scotia are getting hopeful with their re-opening plan, Garrison is bringing some new releases for everyone to enjoy. First up, they have a new series called Hop Mess, which will be a mix of summer releases where the brewers will be experimenting with hop stands (adding hops at flameout and letting the hops stand in the hot wort before chilling) and heavy handed dry-hopping. In their own words they want to “create some messy, dank & crazy flavourful IPAs.” The first release of this series is Hop Mess IPA #1:  Aussie Rules, where they’re adding Eclipse, Topaz and Australian Cascade hops post-flameout and in the fermenter. At 6.7% this is going to be hop-forward upfront with low lingering bitterness. This is a limited run that is available now in cans only at their taprooms in Halifax. 

The other new release at Garrison taprooms is a partnership with Bulwark, as their Blush cider will be available in cans at the Garrison Seaport and Oxford locations. Using the fresh juice from Bulwark, this is fermented and canned at Garrison at their locations. If you know Blush, it’s a tasty local cider that balances wild berries and apple flavours at a very drinkable and fresh 5.8%. 

The newest addition to the Antigonish beer scene continues to put out new and interesting beers during their soft opening phase. This week, Candid Brewing Company is releasing Working Joe Breakfast Stout. Described by the brewery as “if cold brew were beer”, this one features Ethiopia-sourced coffee from renowned Halifax roaster, Java Blend. Working Joe is the first release in Candid’s Side Door Series of one-off batches. You can find it today (Friday), at Candid’s weekly pop-up sale (reminder that Candid will be opening for retail hours every Friday from 1:00 to 6:00 PM until it’s grand opening), for takeaway in pre-filled 1L growlers. Cans of their Northeast IPA, Party Line, and APA with blood orange, No Brainer, will also be available. 

From one university town to another, Wolfville’s Church Brewing also has a new small batch release ready for your weekend. Pomona is a cranberry sour that comes in at 4% ABV for your summer session enjoyment. Brewed with barley, wheat, flaked wheat, and oats, and lightly hopped with Magnum to the tune of 8 IBUs, you can expect notes of rhubarb and lemon zest on the nose, with a puckering cranberry flavour and tart finish. Pomona is named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards, something Wolfville and the surrounding Annapolis Valley can boast plenty of. You can grab some today in crowlers from their onsite Beer Market, or enjoy a pint on their expansive taproom/restaurant patio. 

You may recall that we passed on some info last week concerning two brand new Saisons from Big Spruce; well, they’re continuing that trend this week with yet another Saison, Fruit Bomb. Fermented with two different Brett strains (B. anomola and B. bruxellensis), along with a “clean” Saison strain, it was hopped with organic French Barbe Rouge. The yeast and hops blend together to produce “a nose of summer strawberries spilling into a bowl of peach and nectarine”, to complement the floral and spicy flavours you’d expect from any well-brewed Saison. Refreshing and dry, and 6.8% ABV, it’s the perfect warm weather sipper. Look for it on tap right at the source, and at your favourite Big Spruce watering holes across NS; looks like there should be some bottles available, too! 

But that’s not all, as Big Spruce has been busy as usual! They’re also (re-)excited about the first beer that was fermented and aged in their 500 L foedre, which has been fittingly named Début. Now technically this one was released back in April and may have been spotted in the city at Battery Park, but it’s not been seen in the HRM since then, so you could maybe suggest that this week marks a re-debut of Debut, which is debuting at Stillwell Freehouse right now! Described as “crisp and herbaceous,” it’s Oak-fermented, dry hopped with Huell Melon, and 4.9% ABV. Sounds like a debut that’s worth checking out!

Just one event to tell you about (beside the PEI Craft Beer Week goings on above)

Despite having to navigate through closures, pivoting to online sales, reopenings, and managing one of Halifax’s most popular outdoor watering holes, Stillwell continues to bring us the goods from out of province. This Saturday at the Beergarden, they’ll be pouring seven bangers from British Columbia’s Four Winds Brewing. Your intrepid beer bloggers have had the privilege to share several Four Winds bottles over the years, and we can confidently say that the quality is up there with the best that Canada has to offer. The event will feature styles that appeal to every beer palette, including lagers, a variety of IPAs, a table saison, and their flagship dry-hopped sour, Nectarous. Check out Stillwell’s Instagram post for more details on the beers and event. While we’re talking Stillwell, a friendly reminder that the 2021 version of Preach dropped in the Stillwell Brewing webstore and is now available for Friday deliveries in HRM and shipping country-wide. Look for Preach and the newest batch of Stilly Pils on rotation at the Beergarden and the Stillwell Freehouse patio, before indoor enjoyment comes next week.

A couple more things to look out for, before you hit the patios this afternoon…

It’s Pride Month all over the world (though the parade in Halifax this year will be in August) and Truro Brewing Company has something light, fresh and bright to celebrate. Pulp’d Fiction is a Berliner Weisse with Blood Orange. Always a delicious style that is tart and refreshing, this comes in at 4.0% and is available on tap today at the brewery. 

Another quick hitter from Halifax’s own Bishop’s Cellar as they’re bringing in some bottles from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham. Always a pleasure to see in our local shops, there are 3 new bottles now available at Bishop’s with more releases from Dunham in the coming month. You can pick up a Mata Hari Gose, Berliner Passion Weisse and the classic Saison du Pinnacle on Saturday in-store or online.

 

Happy First Friday of June! The weather is warming, vaccination rates are rising, COVID cases are waning, all of which point to a rising from the ashes of 2020/H1 2021 for the breweries, cideries, and good beer spots in the region. Patios opened province-wide in Nova Scotia this week, the first time in 9 months, and in-brewery/-bar/-restaurant enjoyment is coming soon. Let’s celebrate with a whole buncha new beers available across the region!

Let’s start off by congratulating Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing Company on their third anniversary. To celebrate, the team has brewed Maple Pecan Pie, a big pastry stout to the tune of 10.5%. Local syrup from Château Scoudouc adds a sweet maple note, with cocoa nibs adding some bitter chocolate character. The beer was conditioned on pecans, dates and vanilla beans to provide additional sweetness and flavour complexity. Bottles are in short supply due to batch size, so be sure to hit up CAVOK Brewing* tomorrow when they are officially released! If you’re more in the mood for hops, fresh kegs of their NEIPA Magnetic Ale are on tap now Euston Park’s Parlee Beach location. This 6.5% take on the style is packed with tropical fruit and citrus notes from late additions of Galaxy, Mosaic, El Dorado and Citra, followed by a dry hop of Simcoe and Mosaic. 

*New 6.8% Hibiscus IPA out now from CAVOK, btw, Red Knight. It’s available in their Dieppe taproom and for delivery and shipping online.

On Nova Scotia’s North Shore, the Tatamagouche Brewery tiny patio re-opened this week, with 3 new and returning beers released coincidentally. Returning is Guava Heist, a 3.6% Berliner Weisse (aka sour wheat beer), aged on Organic guava for an intense tropical and citrus experience on the tart base. Available now in cans and on draught at the brewery, like the next two beers, as well as for online ordering for NS and Canada-wide shipping. Brand new this week is another sour beer, but done using a modern approach. Leveraging the new Philly Sour yeast, isolated and studied by a research group in Philadelphia, it is able to create lactic acid directly, rather than needing a Lactobacillus bacteria to do the heavy lifting. This means a very controllable and consistent beer from batch to batch, without the need to hold the fermenting wort at high temperature (currently necessary with Kettle Sours), yet still delivering a moderately tart and refreshing kick we love in sours. Tata is starting their journey with this new yeast with Spark, a 5.0% Sour Pale Ale. Forgoing any fruit for the debut, Spark features a light addition of tropical hops in the kettle, with loads of Eclipse and New Zealand-grown Cascade in the dry-hop. Horton Ridge Pale and Wheat Malts, and Oats, make up the grist upon which the hops and yeast play. The light acidity in the beer brightens the hop character and keeps you coming back for more.

Taking a left turn from the sour beers is Tata’s Dawdle, a 5.8% Belgian Pale Ale. A base of Pilsner and Munich, with a touch of Honey malts, give a clean foundation to build on. A large dosing of Hallertau Mittlefruh and Ariana in the kettle is complemented by plenty more H M in the dry-hop, lending floral and herbal notes to the subtle pepper and spicy yeast character. Cans available in store and online now!

Chester’s finest has a re-release that is now available just in time for the warmer turn of weather. Session Rye IPA is back from Tanner Brewing boasting a backbone of Rye flavour throughout, generous hop additions, but stays at a nice sessionable 4.5% ABV. This Session IPA has a few changes from the original release as they used more Rye and paired it with English Maris Otter malt for the grain bill. They used some other hops this time around as well, now using Lotus, Mosaic and Idaho 7. The result brings some nice Rye spice and body through a dry, refreshing ale with notes of citrus and tropical fruits from the hopping. This is available in their standard 500ml bottles for shipping from their online store or for in-store pickup. 

In one of the the recent 902 Brewcast tasting episodes, the boys broke the news that Big Spruce has added another canner to its lineup that will allow them to can small batch beers made on the original system adjacent to the Sprucetique. Over the last week, two new offerings and a returning seasonal have found their way into cans from the new line. FIrst up is the return of She’s Maibock, a German-style lager. Hopped with Huell Melon, this 6.5% lager features notes of melon and apricot to compliment a toasted bread crust malt profile. The two new releases are both takes on Saison, with two very different interpretations to contrast. Old World Saison honors the fruit and spice yeast derived notes of the style, with an added wood character from conditioning in oak barrels. Coming in at 7.4%, it uses Hallertau Tradition hops that are known for their earthy and grassy character. Finally, New World Saison adds an element that many North American brewers of Saisons have experimented with, by incorporating Brettanomyces, in this case for a co-fermentation with a yeast strain. The funky character from the Brett plays nicely with the Citra dry-hop, which lends notes of grapefruit and tangerine. You can find all of the new canned releases now at the Sprucetique (their Food Truck opens for the season today) or for province-wide delivery and Canada-wide shipping in Big Spruce’s online store. 

You may know Hampton, New Brunswick as being between Sussex and Saint John and along the Saint John River, but now you may remember them for Gridiron Brewing. They have a new beer out now, as they keep brewing and rolling out the good stuff. Zambapalooza is a NEIPA with exclusively Zamba hops (the BSG hop blend formerly known as Samba). This new hop blend brings complex flavour and aroma with stone fruits, tangerine and pineapple. Pairing that with barley and wheat from Island Malt House, as well as some oats, a smooth mouthfeel supports and softens any bite, keeping it true to the OG NEIPA. At 4.9% it has a lighter body, but a lot of the punch of a NEIPA. They’re brewing and they’re open Thurs –  Sun 3 – 6 PM, with free local and QV deliveries happening multiple times per week, so check out their website for their full offerings.

Never a stranger to bring the summer treats, Propeller has a new release available now. Peachberry is a Sour Ale featuring (you guessed it) Peach and Strawberry. Using natural strawberry and peach additions, this lightly sour ale is a balance of sweet and tart. With an IBU of 8, the hopping is minimal and the ripe strawberry and peach sweetness shine through at 5%. This is available now in 473ml can and 4-packs online and in person at Prop Shops, private stores and The Port by NSLC shortly, and will be popping up on tap at various establishments around the province any second now (perfect for those patios now open!). And great news that Propeller is filling growlers again! Of note, they only fill their own branded growlers, but the deposit on theirs is fully refundable so you’re not out anything!

Up the Eastern Shore from HRM lies Sheet Harbour, home of Sober Island Brewing, who have quite a few things on the go this week. First up, last week they put a new beer on the taps: Old School American IPA is pretty self-explanatory, we figure, but no less interesting for being so. Featuring hints of white pepper and pine you can think of it as a sibling to their Wavebreaker; better act soon if you want to try it, though, as we’ve been advised there’s not a whole lot left. Meanwhile, those looking for a Sober Island fix that’s a little closer to the city might be excited to hear that not only do they have a new location in Musquodoboit Harbour on the grounds of the Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum, but they’re now able to operate as a beer garden there. Grab some beer to go or to sit and sip in the sun, Thursday to Sunday, 12 – 8 PM; it’s dog and family friendly, and The Bandwagon food truck will also be there this weekend if you’re feeling the need for a nosh. Lastly, as you can imagine, with the beer garden comes the need for some more folks to help with the pouring and the serving and such. If you’re looking for such a spot for summer employment, you can forward your resumé along with an explanation of why you’d like to work for Sober Island to rebecca@soberbrewing.ca.

Two pieces of news from Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery. Let’s start with a new beer release. Keeping up with what is now a weekly trend of low-ABV releases, Light Bright is a 3.5% light beer with a spiffy can label that can’t help but make us nostalgic for perpetually losing the small plastic pegs from the namesake toy. The beer includes a touch of Vienna malt and whirlpool and dry-hop additions of Centennial and Simcoe hops that provide a citrusy aroma. Cans of Light Bright are available now at the taproom on Portland St.  And for those who’ve been patiently watching the space on the Dartmouth waterfront, you’ll be pleased to know that Brightwood is opening their Beergarden today (weather dependent). Seating capacity will start out at 100 (with groups now larger than 10 per the public health rules). In addition to being able to get food from Evan’s Seafood, this year’s menu will also include a hotdog and ice cream vendor. Check out Brightwood’s social channels for hours of operation and any weather related closures.  

Hop lovers in HRM (and beyond, these folks ship pretty much everywhere) can rejoice, as Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing has a brand new entry in their ongoing series of ultra hop forward and hazy New England IPAs. Modern Interpretation is the 6th entry so far and features the same grist, Golden Promise malt with some wheat, dextrapils and oats for body, Columbus in the mash and at first wort, Simcoe and Huell Melon in the hopback on the way out of the kettle, and a fermentation with the Foggy London yeast strain from Escarpment Labs. For featured hops in the dry hop, which is where the various “-ations” diverge from one another, this one was positively blasted with “stupid” amounts of Enigma and Galaxy along with a “little bit” (only by comparison, we’re sure) of Citra. Expect aromas of overripe papaya, raspberry and peach along with additional notes of mango and pear. Smooth, tropical, and intense, with a definite dankness, it’s 6.1%, 44 IBU and available at the brewery now. And if massively hopped hazebombs aren’t your thing, fear not, the 2C gang might very well still have you covered. Their recently release crispy Bohemian Pils Letna is still in full effect and this week also sees the return of Jubilee, the sibling of Jamboree. A fruited summer sour with blackberry and apricot, it’s lively, lush, and full of flavor. Order online for curbside pickup or delivery, or just head down to the brewery and grab some in person to go or to sip on their patio.

Halifax’s little brewery that could is back with their can-do attitude and a bunch of cans this week. After a few weeks of shutdown Tidehouse is back with four beers available: two new ones and two return engagements. First up on the new stuff front is Chrysalis, a beer that lands somewhere between a lager and an ale, featuring Pilsner malt and Czech Saaz hops paired with the classic California Lager yeast strain. A bit bitter, bready, and crackery, with a mild noble hop note, it’s 5.5% ABV and full-bodied, but finishes nice and dry, the ideal summer crusher. In short, and in the words of the brewery themselves, it’s “[a] beery beer that beers.” Also new from the Tidehouse crew this week is Saddle Up, an IPA in the New England style. Hazy and juicy, as the style demands, this 7% ABV beer does pull a little zig and zag from what you might be used to, first with a solid bitter backbone that’s often somewhat lacking in NEIPAs, and then by replacing the slightly sweet finish that’s so common with a more dry sensation. Hopped with Eclipse, Enigma, and Citra, you can rightly expect notes of fresh pineapple, ripe mango, and grapefruit.

On the returning beer front we find a couple of very summery beers just in time for what we hope is a banger of a weekend weather-wise in the HRM. Peachy Fuzzies is up first, their 4.5% sour that features Peach Rooibos tea from another local business, World Tea House. Nominally a sour, but balanced well by plenty of peach character and a definite iced tea vibe, this is definitely a beer that would be at home on a sunny afternoon on a patio. Also returning is a fresh batch of the brewery’s stone cold classic Hibiscus City. Also a sour and 4.5%, this one features Hibiscus (of course!) and lime and a gorgeous purply-red hue. Cans of all four of these beers are available at the brewery from noon – 6 PM today for sure, but keep an eye on their socials (Fb, Ig) for more information about other days when you’ll be able to pop down and, hopefully sooner rather than later, when they’ll be able to open their taproom for pouring pints again.

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is embracing the warmer weather with two patio-worthy beers returning this week. Their Sour to the People is sour and puckering as all get out, and while it does not feature any fruit in the beer, lemon, peach, green apple, and lemon come through thanks to the acidic kick and other ingredients. At 5.5%, cans are available at both their Seaport and Oxford retail stores, as well as on tap at both locations (patio drinking!), with limited draught to a few places around town. Also returning is Georgia Peach, a 5.0% Wheat beer featuring plenty of peach coming through on the nose and palate, on top of the light base of Maritime Pale and Wheat malts. In addition to Garrison’s spots, cans will also be available at the private stores and NSLC in the next few days/week.

Having an events section at all is suddenly a novelty; here’s hoping this is the first in a new trend:

Would you believe that things have settled down enough in PEI for there to be a PEI Craft Beer Week this year?! We didn’t either, but hey, we’re mostly (very jealous) mainlanders in these parts. Starting tomorrow, Saturday, June 5th, and extending a full week to Saturday, June 12th, this year’s event is featuring both PEI Craft Beer as well as PEI Beef, with PEI Cattle Producers, Atlantic Beef Products Inc., and PEILCC all sponsoring and pretty much all the breweries on the Island involved. Right in line with that combo of sponsors, then, is this year’s signature event, Beef & Brews, where you’ll find food featuring PEI beef paired with PEI craft beer at various tap rooms around the province. Check out the main PEICBW website for a list of who’s participating and what their combo is. Also at that link you’ll find the complete schedule of events throughout the week, including live music, trivia nights, guided tastings, tap takeovers, and more. And there’s also a contest you can enter for a prize package from PEILLC (we have a sneaking suspicion that the prizes might involve beer in some way). Islanders, know that the rest of us are pretty jelly right now.

Now that you know where to find all the appropriate details for this week of events, check out some of the new beers you’ll be enjoying at them:

First up, PEI Brewing Company has a new seasonal release from their Gahan lineup. Walker West Coast IPA is named after their second location established on Walker Drive, where they were located from 2008 until 2013. This tribute IPA has a great malt backbone with sweet caramel malt but balances nicely with big tropical and pine notes from a variety of hops bring the IBU to 70. At 7% expect a deliciously aromatic, bitter and malty classic West Coast IPA. It’s available now in cans at PEI Brew Co and Gahan locations on PEI and will be available at brewpubs and PEI Liquor stores soon. 

Not only is the whole Island celebrating PEI Beer Week this week, but Bogside Brewing in Montague is also celebrating their second birthday and tomorrow (that’s Saturday, June 5th), they’re  having a birthday party and new beer release event. Bogside Radler is exactly what a Radler should be, a light (5% ABV) beer mixed with real juice (grapefruit, tangerine, and a splash of lime); an easy drinking, refreshing combo with a crisp finish, great  for hot weather and wherever the day takes you. You’ll find it for $5 pints tomorrow and 15% off 6-packs of 355 mL cans to go. Meanwhile, you’ll also find on-site oyster shucking (11:30 – 2:30 PM and 4:30 – 8:30 PM) , thanks to a team-up with Cascumpec Bay Oyster Co., live music from Dave Woodside (4 – 7 PM) and Adam MacGregor (7 – 10 PM), and lawn games in the beer gardens. Get the full deets from the Fb Event Page. And if you can’t make the party, but would like to celebrate at home with some Bogside, online ordering is still in full effect!

Copper Bottom in Montague is kicking off Beer Week a bit early, with a sneak peek of a new barrel-aged sour coming next week. Pouring today is Bramble, a raspberry sour heavily influenced by the Belgian Framboise style. Starting out with a multi-grain grist of Pilsner, Spelt, Raw Wheat and 2-row, the beer spent its first six months in Pinot Grigio taking in a whole bunch of funk and acidity from the mixed culture yeast used to ferment. It was then transferred onto raspberry puree for another two months allowing the tart and jammy character of the fruit to meld with the beer. While the majority of the 5.1% beer was bottled a couple of months back to develop some natural carbonation and will be released this coming Thursday, a small amount was kegged and available at the brewery this weekend. Pop in, maybe grab something from The Pizza Box onsite, and kick off your PEI Craft Beer Week today! 

Fresh off their win at last night’s Hopyard Beer Bar Battle of the Breweries, Village Green has a brand new hazy IPA available on draught and in cans in Cornwall today. Weird Clouds will be a rotating NEIPA, exploring different varietals and blends of hops. Version #1 features Columbus, Citra, Amarillo, and El Dorado, coming together for a billowy blast of tropical flavour and aroma, on a 6.7% soft base of Pilsner, Vienna, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malts. Head out for a pint and can, and pop by Holy Fox Food Truck set up next door!

If you’re looking for summer work in the beer business up on the North side of the Province, have a look at this:

Antigonish’s Candid Brewing is holding another retail pop-up in their space this weekend, today 3 – 6 PM, tomorrow 1 – 4 PM. And if working with them sounds like a great time this summer, you’re in luck! Through the Canada Summer Jobs program, they are looking at hiring both a Brewery Labourer (no direct brewing experience necessary, you’re bound to learn lots while on the job) and Social Events Co-ordinator. More information on both jobs and how to apply are on their website, and closes June 10.

Welp, after a lighter blog last week, the breweries, cider houses, and mead makers have righted the ship with two dozen new and returning releases this week. All four Atlantic Provinces are well-represented, so no envious reading of new beers not available in your neck of the woods… And with many breweries shipping intra- and inter-provincially, even those concerns are things of the past. As always in these times, confirm that your local brewery or favourite beer-centric bar or restaurant is open and doing take-away or in-person enjoyment (those in NS will have to wait a while for that luxury again), but at least we can suggest what to ask for when you do sidle up to the bar.

Starting off this week, we’ve got a barrel aged version of a previous release. Last fall, 2 Crows released a Change is Brewing collaboration called Good News, a Berliner-style Weisse with raspberry and Mango additions. Yesterday, they released Great News a barrel aged sibling. The big difference with this one is that the brewers started with some Berliners that were already in barrels from the fall.

From the brewery: “Together with the members of CIB and a couple folks from the Africville Heritage Museum, we held a blending session where we sampled a number of different Berliners we had brewed to barrel in early 2020.  As a group, we decided on a blend of three different barrels – one Sauvignon Blanc, and two Mezcal Reposado barrels.” Fruit additions of Raspberry and Mango joined the blend, which used the same base for all barrels: 55% pilsner, 11% raw wheat, and 33% wheat malt, along with some aged hops in the mash. The beer was then conditioned for two months before bottle conditioning for another seven.

This beer has great jammy flavours from the raspberry, and is zippy per the style. The Mezcal barrels bring some earthiness, while the Sauvignon Blanc barrels give smooth lemongrass notes. It comes in at 3.2% ABV and is available in 375ml bottles. A limited number are available, so get it directly from the brewery while you can! 

Those in the Saint Andrews, New Brunswick area have reason to celebrate, as they now have a local brewery of their own! Saint Andrews Brewing Company is a nano brewery owned and crafted by Ian Covey, a veteran of the New Brunswick brewing scene. While SABC does not have a taproom of their own, they will be supplying local bars and restaurants with their beer, with local The Red Herring Pub the first to carry their beer this weekend. We’ve got the early scoop on what will be pouring, namely: Herringbone Pub Ale, their 4.6% take on a traditional Best Bitter, featuring a grain bill of Golden Promise and a dash of Crystal Dark, plentifully hopped with East Kent Goldings to the tune of 30 IBU. Caramel, toast, and even some Earl Grey tea qualities in the glass, and look for it to be on Cask in the future. Also on draught is Wharfbound Hazy Pale Ale, a 5.5% NEIPA with a blast of ripe tropical fruit character from the Citra and Simcoe used throughout (including in two dry-hopping additions), on a pillowy base of Golden Promise, Canadian 2-Row, wheat, and flaked oats. Think candied pineapple, mango, and even CBD gummies. In addition to these core beers that should always be on tap at the Red Herring, the first of their rotating taps is London Brown Ale, a 4.3% Brown Ale brewed in the historical style, a touch sweeter than a traditional English Brown, showcasing all the lovely brown bread, toffee, and raisin notes you’d expect. These three beers will be on tap today at noon, and given the small batch size, may not last all weekend, so do not delay in visiting to grab the first tastes! We’ll have much more from Covey and SABC soon, and in the meantime follow along on IG and Fb to learn more on future releases!

Heading back to NS, Big Spruce is re-releasing Complexified. With only 500 bottles available, this Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter was slow lagered and conditioned in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for over six months. Featuring complex, rich chocolate notes with a bit of nuttiness, a smooth bourbon finish, and a touch of wood, this beer is a winner. Only available at their Sprucetique in Nyanza and online in 650ml bottles, be sure to act quickly on this. They’ll ship this 10.9% ABV and 28 IBU beauty anywhere in Canada. 

And staying in Cape Breton, their new cidery on the block, Island Folk CIder House, is releasing Special Elderflower Cider. The elderflower infusion leads to slightly herbal and floral notes that compliment tannic notes from the apples. You can grab a bottle at the cider house in Sydney, or order online for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping.

From one Island to another, let’s head to Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, where Landwash Brewery can be found who have plenty to share this week. Out today is Up She Rises, the result of the collaborative brewday Head Brewer Christina Coady held on International Women’s Day in March, in which breweries from across Newfoundland and Labrador took part virtually. This 6.0% ABV IPA uses the Pink Boots Society hop blend from Yakima Chief, and features additions of passion fruit to the brew, for a massive blast of tropical, floral, and summer-esque vibes. Part of the proceeds from can and draught sales this weekend will be going to YWCA St. John’s, so be sure to support their efforts while drinking a great bevvie!

Plus we have some intel on two beers coming later this month, that we’ll spill closer to release, but we can say that the first is a Saison, reminiscent of Christina and Chris’ time brewing at Folly Brewing in Toronto, where naturally conditioned and “weird” and “funky” were the norm. And coming later in May is Packaging Manager Nardia McGrath’s Caribou Hill, an Anzac-biscuit-inspired Brown Ale beer featuring coconut. Much more then!

Where better to drink Up She Rises than at the brewery taproom, which is sporting some new seating up above the taproom proper in a space they are calling the Loft. With 30 additional seats (that will grow to 60 when restrictions ease), the space also features a second bar to reduce wait-times, and a view of the taproom and brewhouse below. It will be available for private bookings shortly, and their website also now allows for seating reservations for you and your bubble. They have a full month of events planned each Wednesday and Thursday, with fly tying (of the fishing type) each Wednesday beginning at 5 PM, and live music each Thursday starting at 6 PM. And as the weather warms, you’ll soon be able to enjoy a pint on their under-construction outdoor seating!

Wolfville’s Church Brewing has a new release this week, and best we can tell, it marks the first time they’ve packaged in bottles. Til Death Do Us Tart Sparkling Framboise is a new take on their previously released raspberry wheat ale, Til Death Do Us Tart. This time around, they’ve bottled conditioned the beer with champagne yeast to create a more sparkling and effervescent carbonation. Bottles are available now at the taproom on Main Street and for delivery locally, throughout the Valley Wednesdays (order before 8 PM Tuesday), as well as to HRM Thursdays (order by Wednesday at 8 PM). It’s also available in a special Mother’s Day gift pack that includes two tulip glasses and a bottle opener, with an optional variety of cheeses that can be added, available Sunday for pickup or local delivery. Due to the small batch size, phoning in the order for delivery is probably the way to go for this one (902-542-2337, https://churchbrewing.ca/store/shop-beer). 

And while we have you thinking of Church, they debuted a new American IPA on the weekend, aptly named Maia. Named after the Goddess of Spring, this 5.7% ABV slightly hazy golden ale features some wheat and oats in the grist to soften the mouthfeel, with the star of the show being the hops used. Magnum, Mosaic, and Vic Secret shine through with lemon and herbal notes, with plenty of other fruity ester character to stand tall on her own, or the beer’s acidity can work with the hops as a refreshing palate cleanser accompanying wings, orzo salad, or a Caprese bacon sandwich. Maia is a draught-only release, which these days means it is only available in Crowlers, but those can be added to a local or HRM delivery over the phone, or picked up in person at their location on Main Street Wolfville.

Bad Apple is back with a cider release this week, straight outta Somerset in the heart of the Annapolis Valley. Haskap Cider is 6% ABV and features the local Haskap berry added to the cider as whole fruit smashed with love. Available in 473ml cans only from the brewery, this is rich, flavourful, well carbed and sports a vibrant red colour. 

And In other Bad Apple news, if you’re reading this early enough on Friday and are in HRM, you may be able to get an order delivered in Halifax. Check out the Facebook post here for details on how to order, and choose from their Box Cutter IPA, Mosaic DIPA, Black & Tackle RIS, and Stearman APA, as well as several of their ciders.

And speaking of both cider and the Valley, Kentville’s Maritime Express has a new cider available this week as well. Lively Airs is a 5.2% fruity and herbal cider that began with a base of a juice blend from Spy and Honeycrisp apples. To that, local strawberries were blended in, before basil was added during the aging process. Named for a picnic outing sponsored by the Western Counties Railway way back in 1875 to drum up funds. Flat cars were fitted with benches and an estimated 1,200 people went on the excursion, entertained by the “lively airs” of the Milton Brass Band who were positioned at the center of the train. A lovely historical reference to a very summery-sounding cider. Get your taste of it by ordering online for pickup any time between 12 and 8 today (Friday) or between 4 and 8 on Saturday (and hopefully soon enough you’ll be sipping pints in the taproom again!) And if you’re making an order, you might also be interested to know that their Roundhouse Rhubarb is also back in stock and it’s “tarter and rhubarbier than ever!”

Bringing some good news from PEI, Copper Bottom is bringing the love, returning the support they’ve received over the past 14 months during the pandemic. Islanders have been more than kind to them and they’re taking a turn to give back. Launching today, they’re starting a Give Back Initiative, which will be a series of beer releases that will support PEI not-for-profits, community groups and local artists. 

The first release comes out today and Plover is a Helles-style lager in support of Island Nature Trust, whose mandate is to protect vital underdeveloped land and at-risk wildlife. Available in cans and pints, this style has a bit more body than a classic Pilsner, has a Noble hop flavour and aroma from the Hallertau Mittelfrüh, complementing the Island floor-malted grain used to achieve the 4.8% ABV. Cans are available from the brewery today, along with draught Plover pouring as well. $1 from every can or pint sale will go directly to the Island Nature Trust to work to protect natural assets and thrive for sustainability across the province. For those not in Montague, check their website for delivery options to your neck of the woods. If you’re lucky enough to be nearby, they’ll have some entertainment in the taproom at 6 PM tonight to celebrate the release. From Copper Bottom, “Future plans for the Give Back Initiative include releases to support mental health initiatives, local art installations, and other community-oriented projects.”

There’s a bunch of news out of Garrison Brewing in Halifax this week, as it’s clear they’re very very busy over there despite the HRM lockdown. First up is news for fans of football (no, not that one, the other one): Halifax Wanderers FC and Garrison are teaming up for a co-branded special release of Garrison’s Tall Ship Light in 473 mL cans. Merging themes from each brand into a single, unified look, you’ll be able to see it for yourself through the Seaport and Oxford retail locations, private stores around the city, and eventually at the Wanderers Grounds at a Wanderers match once this lockdown madness is all over.

There are also beers returning to the Garrison ranks this week, one that’s fairly new school and one that’s decidedly not. First up is the summer edition of their kettle sour. The 2021 edition of Pucker Up! Citrus is hazy and very orange forward, continuing to a citrus finish, all on top of the usual tartness that fans of this one enjoy. Available at the Seaport and Oxford locations now, they will also be coming to the private stores and NSLC in the coming days.

Also returning is the elusive, in-frequent, but cult-following-inducing Jalapeño Ale. Last spotted in 2018, this year’s 4.6% batch features more chilis than just its eponymous pepper, but the exact cultivars are a secret! What isn’t a secret is the kick of capsaicin evident on the nose and palate right away, making it perfect for marinating, cooking, as a base for a beer cocktail, or straight up enjoyment for those pepperheads out there. If you fall into any of these categories, we suggest you grab Jalapeño quickly, as it will be gone before you know it. (Now we need to start a petition for Garrison to bring back and equally vintage brand, Khybeer Mokka Ale!!)

And finally from Garrison is a cider collaboration with their pals at Bulwark. Core Apple Cider has been on tap at their Seaport and Oxford locations for a while now, but is available for the first time in 473 ml cans this week. At 5.8%, finishing dry, it used 1005 Annapolis Valley Apples that Bulwark helps them source and process. Gluten-free as you’d expect, and a yummy alternative for those wanting/needing an alternative to beer.

Borden-Carlton’s Lone Oak Brewing has a new beer on tap at their taproom, your first/last stop when visiting the Island (you know, assuming you aren’t supposed to be self-isolating)…Lupin is a 6.5% ABV Belgian Saison, with lots of yeast-derived notes of bubblegum, clove, spice, and herbs, on a dry effervescent base. Featuring Island-grown hay, as well as honey from Canoe Cove, there’s a hint of sweetness on the backend. Only available on draught at the taproom currently, bottles of Lupin will be available before the end of the month.

Lunn’s Mill – CM done

Lunn’s Mill Brewing, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, has a new “Old” English IPA on tap at the brewery now. Bramle On features the English Bramling Cross hop, resulting in an earthy and floral aroma complementing the soft and well-conditioned feel of a classic British beer base (and, if you’re like some of us, a name that’ll put you in mind of Led Zeppelin). At 6.1% ABV, it is on draught at the brewery’s taproom in Lawrencetown, so growlers are the best way to go for this one. And then in-person pints there and at your local pub soon, once the lockdown lifts! In the meantime, you can request delivery to your door through their online portal.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is continuing their month of Small Batch Releases with a beer over a year in planning. Wild IPA is a blend of a Brettanomyces-fermented IPA that spent time in white wine barrels, before being blended with a super-fresh IPA loaded with Nelson Sauvin hops. Gooseberry and White Wine notes burst from the can, with a funky wild character from the Brett component. This 6.2% ABV blend is a can-only release, appearing on the shelves at all 3 Prop locations open 12 – 8 PM today (and everyday!), with same-day delivery available in HRM and shipping further afield. A portion of the batch will also be appearing at the four private stores in Halifax and Dartmouth this weekend. And after a mad dash to snap it up mid-April, Tropical Haze is back in cans at the Prop Shops as well, perfect for enjoyment outside as the weather warms.

Annapolis Brewing Company is going sour for their most recent release, Basin Berry Sour. Leveraging plenty of raspberry and blackberry fruit in the glass, blending perfectly with the base kettle sour beer that marks their first foray into the style, and just in time for the warmer weather. Featuring a lovely purple hue, the 4.0% sour is available in cans at the taproom in Annapolis Royal (lockdown hours, Wed – Sun, 12 – 6 PM), or for home delivery through their website.

Mountain Meadworks has a pair of new meads available this week, available from their stall Saturday from the Truro Farmers Market, as well as through the online portals from the Truro and New Glasgow Markets. Feral Nova Scotia was created with honey from Tatamagouche, and yeast harvested from a pin cherry in Cape Breton and cultured by Escarpment Labs that will be familiar to many beer fans… Finishing dry, yet showing a touch of lingering honey on the palate, the floral character shines through in spades. The second expression is a sure sign of spring, the return of grackles to the area. Featuring wildflower honey from Tatamagouche, the mead also showcases organic blueberries from North of Nuttby Farm, and Black Currants from Upperbrook Farm in Truro. Dry, yet juicy, with plenty of fruit flavour and light tannins from the fruit additions shining through.

Cornwall PEI’s Village Green has debuted their first traditional farmhouse beer this week, the simply-named Saison. Using a multi-grain grist bill, the beer finishes quite dry with notes of pepper, lemon, and a touch of spice. European and English hops complement the base with a solid bitterness. Find Saison on draught and in cans at their location on Church Street in Cornwall, and you may also be able to catch it on tap at HopYard in Charlottetown as well.

We finish off our news section today with a major development for cider in Fredericton. Red Rover Craft Cider has found a new home, at the historical Neill Family Farm, located in Devon on the Northside. Dating back to 1867, there are generations of history at that location, which Nicola Mason and Adam Clawson of Red Rover intend to continue with their own family. Their plans are far-reaching, including moving their production facility from Hanwell Road to Devon in the coming months, which will allow expansion as well as welcome guests to tour the facility once renovations are complete. A taproom and event space, the Ciderworks, will repurpose some of the existing farm buildings to better suit their new intention. Going forward, they will be planting apple and other fruit trees, including traditional cider-specific varietals, which will bear fruit in the coming years. Much more great details to share as Red Rover make the farm their own, and our congratulations to Mason and Clawson on this major milestone!

Just one event to talk about this week, but it’s a good ‘un if you happen to be in the St. John’s area!!

The East Duck area of St. John’s is getting a taste of the mainland this weekend, with both Bar Brewdock and nearby Toslow pouring some fresh kegs from Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Both spots are pouring a nice selection on the go/coming soon, with Waltz German Pils, Deux II Cherry Sour (collab with Orono Brewing Co), Laurel Dark Saison with plum and bay leaf, Zip! Berliner Weisse, Jamboree Fruited Sour, I Love You Brett Saison, and Space Words Triple IPA to be pouring at Brewdock, and Deux II and Laurel on at Toslow. Both spots will also be pairing some great food all weekend (and the rest of the time, natch), so maysel make an evening of it and try ‘em all!

A few last quick hits to leave you with this week:

Lovers of tiny hoppy beers rejoice! 2 Crows Matinee is back. This 3.1% crusher is now available to-go at the brewery and via 2 Crows’ shipping and delivery options on their webstore. Look for it to start popping up at select NSLC’s around the province too. 

The small can/small ABV trend continues to gain momentum, providing us with sessionable packaged options just in time for summer. Tatamagouche Brewing is the latest to adopt the format and is now selling 355ml cans of Dekorum, their 2.9% ABV light lager by the flat. Check out their webstore for some special pricing and stock up for the weekend. 

Heritage Brewing has a new English Pale Ale out this week. This one comes in at 5.4% ABV and 30 IBUs, and like any good EPA, features some malt-driven sweetness. Easy to drink, it is lightly hopped with Fuggles to balance the malt sweetness, with the combination of malt and hops giving a deliciously smooth, medium-bodied ale that is perfect for enjoying in your household bubbles. EPA is available now for growler fills at the brewery on Main Street.

Route 19 Brewing also has a new release this week with Sandcastle. Coming in at 5.0% ABV, this fruited sour ale features peach, key lime and cara cara orange. Sandcastle is available for delivery through Route 19’s online store and is also being carried at 20 NSLC locations across Cape Breton Island. 

Dartmouth pals North Brewing and Lake City Cider have teamed up for a collaborative release hitting the shelves at both spots today. Burst is a melding of beer and cider, aka Snakebite, that features the hop-forward Pleasant Disposition from North, and a blend of Lake City’s Blueberry and Dark Currant ciders that were co-secondary-fermented to finish quite dry. The resultant beverage is hoppy, tart, refreshing, and full of fruit on the palate. Grab Burst in person at both Lake City and North, or through their respective delivery portals.

We’ll leave you with some good news from Miramachi, where New Maritime Beer Co. was the recent recipient of not one, but two gold models at the European Beer Challenge. The Very Best Juicy IPA and Refined Pirate Stout both took home the medals in their respective categories. Congrats to head brewer David Draper and the rest of the team at New Maritime on the wins! And if you’d like to join this award-winning team, they are currently hiring for a full-time Sales Representative / Delivery Person to join their family. Check out the job posting and send along a resume!

Congratulations are also in order to Brasseux d’la Côte who took home an EBC Gold for their La Classic Rosé! Lots of great things brewing along the shore in New Brunswick. Well done Crew!

And speaking of job positions, Bathurst’s 13 Barrels Brewing is hiring a bar tender/server for their taproom. You can learn more and apply by reaching out via email.