Never was much of a beer drinker before moving to Halifax. There was never alcohol in the house growing up and when I started drinking in university it was straight to Jack Daniels. Relatively cheap, and effective. (And a great cold preventative. A pint or so a week and you’ll never be sick.) Went from whiskey to rum and then coconut rum. Could pour it into an empty water bottle and it looked like water. Get it cold and I’d drink it straight. But I still didn’t drink beer. Took a few sips here and there but that was it. Bud, Bud light, Corona, it all just tasted nasty. (If it weren’t for those free straw hats, would anyone ever drink Corona?)
But then I came to Canada and beer is a pretty big thing here. They like their beer and on average they like it stronger then mainstream American beers. Even Budweiser had to strengthen the alcohol content to sell up here. And it tastes better. But I was introduced to beers from smaller breweries first. There was Keith’s India Pale Ale. Alexander Keith made his family a fortune by coming up with a IPA that would travel across the ocean. Although with my subsequent explorations I’ve found it’s not my favourite kind of beer, it’s one of the better IPA’s that I have had. My favourite beer from Keith’s is their Premium White. Now that is some good stuff, specially on a hot day.
Then there is Garrison Brewery. It’s a small brewery near the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market (which is worth a look on it’s own) that has a whole line of various flavoured beer. Ever thought about a raspberry wheat? A jalapeno ale? They have it, and more. Drop by and see them, try some out and take what you like home.
And then there’s Granite Brewery. Oh Granite, you guys are amazing. They use all natural ingredients and do no mechanical filtering. Instead Isinglass finings are put in during the conditioning process. Check out their website, they explain it well. In short, they use no additives or preservatives and make top notch beer. For $19 dollars you get a two litre bottle of beer. Turn the bottle in next time you want some, it’s then only ten bucks. Can’t beat it folks.
And of course, we can’t forget the microbreweries. Halifax is dotted with them. A lot of the pubs will brew a few beers on the premises. The Split Crow, Rogue’s Roost, and the Hart and Thistle to name a few all make at least a few beers. And serve some top notch food. Halifax does have the second highest amount of bars per capita in Canada so you know there will always be something good. I tend to go for the darker beers these days, but whatever you like you will find it. Oh, and the Old Trianglepours a mean Guinness.
Of course, we can’t leave out the liquor store. A great exploration can begin at the Beers of the World shelf. If a country makes a beer, chances are they have it. I like the Erdinger wheat beers from Germany, there’s a Denmark Viking beer that has an alcohol content of 10% and a whole shit ton more. I told you they like their beer here.