Monday, July 31, 2017

Five craft beer releases for August

Summer booze, makes me feel fine...

Posted By on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 10:25 AM

  • Julie O'Kruk

It’s hard to believe August is already upon us. Soon patio season will be over and Halifax will be nothing but icy sidewalks and parking bans (sigh). But let’s not get caught up in that just yet. Summer is still here, so let’s enjoy it while we can. To help you do that, we’ve rounded up some late summer releases from a few of our local craft brewers. 

1. Tag! You're It by Big Spruce Brewing (6.5%, 49 IBU)
Release: August 3

This IPA was created in collaboration with Dalhousie University’s Ocean Tracking Network (OTN). Big Spruce has pledged that 50 cents from every can they sell will go to OTN and other programs doing ocean research, such as the tagging and tracking of sharks in the Northwest Atlantic. Big Spruce co-owner Jeremy White says Bishop's Cellar and Harvest Wines agreed to contribute another 25 cents from the sales they make. A second release of the 20,000-can brew is scheduled for October.

2.Fandango by 2 Crows Brewing Co. (6.8%, 52 IBU)
Release: August 5 (tentative)

This milkshake IPA has a tropical flavour with Azacca, Galaxy, and Citra hops: “All very tropical hops, think passionfruit, mango [and] tangerine,” head brewer Jeremy Taylor says via email. The beer is conditioned in a calvados barrel for several weeks, then finished with mango puree, peaches, vanilla bean and lactose (hence the term “milkshake IPA”). This will be a limited release, Taylor says. “We only have the one batch of it, and once it is gone it is gone.”

3. Promiseland by 2 Crows Brewing Co. (8.3%, 64 IBU)
Release: August 31 (tentative)

The folks at 2 Crows first brewed this double IPA a few months back. If you missed it, fear not—it’s going to be available again due to its popularity. Taylor describes it as “hazy and very juicy.” Promiseland is brewed with malted oats, flaked barley, and honey malt, and loaded with Citra and Simcoe hops. This beer also has a tropical touch, with juicy citrus notes: Orange, tangerine and a bit of mango. Taylor says they expect this to be a seasonal release, so you’ll have a couple months to grab it before it disappears into the boozy void for a while.

4. Oh My Darlin’ by North Brewing (6.3%, 30 IBU)
Release: August (tentative)

Oh my darling, oh my darling clementine IPA. North co-owner Rozina Darvesh says brewer Josh Herbin aged this beer in the company’s tank at Battery Park. It then underwent a secondary aging and fermentation process with Brettanomyces claussenii (a type of wild yeast), along with clementine juice and zest. This brew is bottle conditioned and is part of North’s Finite Series, so it’s limited edition.

5. Low Tide by Tidehouse Brewing Company (5.5%, 13 IBU)
Release: Late August

Say what? Tidehouse is about to drop its first bottle release, and they’re promising it’ll be something special. In collaboration with Low Point coffee, they’re releasing an American Porter. Low Point soaked their raw burundi coffee beans in 2 Crows’ calvados barrel for 24 hours, and those beans were sent up the hill and roasted at Java Blend. “Low Point made us a keg of the cold brew concentrate from this incredible coffee,” says Tidehouse co-owner Shean Higgins, and thus, a marriage of beer and coffee only made sense.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Off Track is bringing a brewery to Bedford

The brewery is expected to open in early October.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 1:47 PM


After several years of brewing beer at home, Allan MacKay is following his passion and brewing up a business. Off Track Brewing (275 Rocky Lake Drive), Bedford’s first craft brewery, is opening this fall. 

“I always loved brewing beer,” says MacKay. “I have some friends here in the city that brew quite a bit as well, so that was always a nice thing to get together—a nice social thing.”

MacKay got more serious about making beer after participating in one of Good Robot’s homebrew tap takeovers last summer. He created a peanut butter stout for the occasion, inspired by Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout from Dead Frog Brewery in British Columbia. MacKay’s version was a hit.

“It went over really, really, well. So then I started to think about it on a different level.”

MacKay decided to pursue brewing as a full-time gig. He’s teaming up with Matt Scott and Jon Saunders—both Nova Scotians who had left the province for work, but wanted to come back.

MacKay’s first instinct was to start a brewery in his hometown of Antigonish, but “logistically, it just doesn’t work for us uproot and move there.” Instead, they went with Bedford, where both Scott and Saunders are from.

“We’re all, obviously, huge fans of beer, so the idea of coming home was really appealing,” says MacKay. “And starting a brewery—I don’t know how that can’t be appealing.”

The team looked at upwards of 20 different locations until they found one that suited their needs, settling on Rocky Lake.

For Off Track’s first set of beers, MacKay is leaning to the light side: A pale ale, an American wheat beer and a Kölsch. He’s also bringing back the peanut butter stout for those who may have missed it at GRBCo. From there, the brewery will be rolling out experimental recipes through a smaller, half-barrel system. “Whatever catches on” has the potential to be part of Off Tracks permanent rotation, says MacKay.

He hopes that, as time goes on, Off Track will become a staple business in Bedford.

“You know where The Chickenburger is, you know where Finbar’s—the original—is. Everyone knows those spots, that’s Bedford,” says MacKay. “We want to be Bedford’s brewery.”

Off Track is expected to open in early October.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ciboulette is expanding, re-opening as the Bird's Nest

The Nest is yet to come

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 2:12 PM


After over nine years as a tucked-away upstairs gem at 1541 Barrington Street, Ciboulette Cafe & Catering is ready to sparkle a little brighter from a street-level location next-door.

“We outgrew the spot many years ago, but until now I’ve been struggling to find the right venue to expand into,” says owner Brady Muller who affectionately calls her new home—which was most recently Auntie’s dispensary— the old Loop (1547 Barrington Street). By expanding, the cafe will be able to move its kitchen equipment (it’s currently sharing a space with its neighbour, Chives Canadian Bistro) and set up an open-concept restaurant that’s more “sit-down friendly” than its current nook, offering up 40-ish seats. “It’s a huge improvement over our eight seats we currently have,” says Muller.

“For years we know that people walk by us every day and do not know that we’re there. It’s really exciting to hear comments since the announcement of the expansion and people are saying, ‘I never heard of this place, I never knew it was there’,” she adds. “We do have a loyal following, but we’re excited to see what will happen when we’re more visible. I think we have a lot of opportunity in front of us right now.”

With the move also comes a new name for Ciboulette. When it re-opens in the early fall it’ll be called the Bird’s Nest, a nod to a nickname and an excuse to start fresh.

“We’ll be keeping our existing space as a little reading room and have it available to private meeting rentals, tucked in the eves as our little nest,” says Muller, adding that Ciboulette—which she originally opened in partnership with Chives, but has since bought out—had always been a difficult word for customers to pronounce and spell. The tried and true menu items will be sticking around, but the Bird’s Nest will expand its offerings thanks to less constraints in the kitchen. Muller is particularly excited about the fact that her new location makes for an entirely food and drink centric block of Barrington Street.

“We are all very tight,” she says of her neighbours The Old Apothecary and Chives. “The Chives and 2 Doors Door family and I are truly family. I immigrated to this country after coming on vacation here and having a meal at Chives and deciding to go into the restaurant industry. It has literally been a home base for me for over a decade.”
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Friday, July 7, 2017

Shop this: Masala spices from Shivani's Kitchen

Spice up your life with this line of fresh, salt-free masala

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 12:32 PM


For almost three years, Shivani Dhamija’s been bringing authentic Indian flavours to people’s tables and kitchen counters via Shivani’s Kitchen which operates as both a tiffin delivery service and a host of one-on-one and group cooking classes. Now, Dhamija is adding a little extra spice to her food-based-business, offering a line of fresh, salt-free, gluten-free masala spices to use at home. Her collection includes garam masala, butter chicken masala, curry masala, turmeric masala and chicken tikka masala, which retail for $7 a jar. Find Shivani’s Kitchen at the Spryfield, Tantallon and Prospect farmers’ markets, or contact her directly with orders via her website.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Tall Sips drops anchor July 27

Get thirsty! We're celebrating summer and the incoming Tall Ships Regatta, with this week of specialty drinks.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 5:09 PM


Later this month The Coast is raising a glass (actually, over 45 of them) to cocktail culture, summertime in the city the the incoming Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta with a celebration of hydration— Tall Sips.

Restaurants, bars and cafes across town are joining in on the fun, offering up special $8 alcoholic or $5 non-alcoholic, nautically-themed beverages from July 27 to August 2, when tall ships from around the world will be the talk of our docks.

It works like this: You pick up a passport from one of the participating locations, feast your eyes on the 48 options for wetting your whistle—beers, cocktails, shakes, iced coffees and more— and collect stamps as you sip your way across the city.

Get a sneak peek at the Tall Sips menu here.

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Stockpot Cafe simmers in Burnside

New lunch option opens today

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 7:00 AM


“Basically we’re just three foodies that love to travel and eat and try different food, in the past five years we’ve been across the world,” says Hadi Hafez who opens Stockpot Cafe today in the former location of Burnside lunch favourite, Starfresh Diner (20 Wright Avenue). “We’re Haligonians at heart, we’ve been here 20 or 25 years, but something keeps bringing us back here. All three of us—the chef is my brother, the third owner is a long time friend—we keep meeting in the same place some how.”

They teamed up to open Stockpot Cafe, a spot for quick, homestyle sandwiches, salads and soups that call on mostly Mediterranean cuisine, as well as some hearty, but not over-the-top, fusion dishes like shish shawarma, butter chicken soup, donair salad. “We want to make sure people are getting nourishment while they’re at work,” says Hafez.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Goodmore Kombucha launches six flavours

It was ferment to be

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 12:18 PM

  • John Newgard
Fifteen years working overseas in the wine industry instilled a serious love for “crafting beautiful beverages” in Kevin and Alexis Moore. So much so that the couple— who on top of wine, had an affinity for making fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, beer and kombucha at home— returned to their home in Nova Scotia about a year ago with a plan to start Goodmore Kombucha in hand.

“We had this moment of having a very intense calling home,” says Alexis. “We made lots of changes and brought ourselves back here and wanted to start our own project. This seed has been growing for quite a while so we were really exited to bring that seed home.”

The couple did product trials in their kitchen to arrive upon six individually fermented kombucha flavours, like black ginger, green rosehip hibiscus and oolong hop cardamom. They officially launched the brand last week. “Coming from a wine background we wanted to focus on more on the subtleties that kombucha can present, highlighting the diversity of teas,” says Alexis.

For now, you can find bottles at Local Source Market, Dilly Dally Cafe, Battery Park Beer Bar and Little C, going forward the Moores hope to grow their brand and maybe even experiment with kombucha and cocktails.

“Coming back a year ago, there were little to no kombucha producers and we’ve been thrilled to see the handful of really great producers pop up,” says Alexis. “Having an industry that can come together and tell a shared story, where each company has their own differentiation, that element of collaboration is so exciting.”

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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