Halifax Artisanal Beer.
One sunny afternoon with an empty stomach and a desire to quench my thirst I decided to spend a day with a mandate to do a trek around Halifax visit as many of the artisanal breweries and brewpubs as possible. Previously to this voyage of thirsty endeavors I was able to visit one of the breweries beforehand and thus able to cross it off along list.
I arrived Thursday evening to have a chat with head brewer of Garrisons and fortuitously when I arrived they were holding an homebrew competition, this was a great event to stumble upon and enabled good chats with like minded beer lovers, although heavily Home brew oriented. I had brought Feelsgood.ca Imperial Pilsner and a Grivouse du noel From Troue du Diable. This went over quite well as Danielle was friends with La Troue and had not yet experienced the Feelsgood beer.
Good turnout for the Homebrewers
The homebrew Competition was themed around witbeer which is one of my many favorite styles to consume, not heavily represented here on the east coast it implicates interest as the winners get to put on the brewing boots and recreate the winning brew for a small batch series to be sold the following winter. After the event I picked up a stockpile of goodies from the brewery grabbing the last remaining Black I.P.A. in the brewery a mix pack split between the Harvey's bitter (which was the last years homebrew competition winner) and the Jalepeno ale, and a few of their barely wines which go straight to the cellar for a bit of aging (as long as the beer is above 8 percent it is supposed to age well and become more characterful, although some versions can become oxidized and taste like cardboard). This homebrew competition is unique as even though I just finished a six pack of Sam Adams Long Shot series of a similar theme Garrisons has the homebrewers come in an d do most of the work preparing the brew. Blood, sweat, and cheers was how the creation of the Harvey (named after the guy who came up with the recipe) brew went down, which was a pleasantly quaffable brew.
Top Four Homemade Witbiers, what a delight.
A days repose from all the enjoyment of the homebrew evening and I was back on track to tackle all the micros. A pleasant sunny day started off with a visit the the Hart and Thistle located on a beautiful stretch of waterfrontin a pleasant wood beamed atmosphere, was able to garner a chat with the ever eccentric brewer Steve Nash. A hop lover by nature the beer was very well crafted although towards the bitter end of balance which may throw one or two new customers off I find it quite enjoyable. We had a discussion about some of the future projects he was working on as well as the hinderances the system at Hart and Thistle gives him. Very little space and a shared area with the kitchen staff means that some terse moments develop. However it is all about the beer and it pours delightfull. Was able to try his smoked malt stout, true to merit that he makes ber that he enjoys and not one that will sell well for subdued tastes. A good discussion of the Smash, boiler did not works and a 20 hr. slow heating proccess resuted in a rich malty brew otherwise only available if you had excessive specialty malts. Will have to venture back to give it a try sometime.
Good and Hoppy seems to be what is to be got at H&T.
The Propeller Brewery is in very close approximation to Hart and Thistle and the two combine their interests often at the Thistle for food and beer pairings. It's a very short Jaunt uphill to the Propeller Brewery where I filled a Growler (expect to see these soon in the downtown fredericton Area, 3.25 L of pure goodness) with HefeWeizen, a quart of IPA and a soda. If the their pilsner was available some of this would have been bought as well, but takes considerable time to condition and since it's such a sought after brew supplies run out at times which means when it is available it is that much better tasting. After all this I was off again to venture down the road for more well crafted enjoyment. It took a while getting my bearings after my previous stops but good music in my ears and one stop for directions from a very kind pawn shop lady and I arrived at the Rogues Roost.
Propeller tasting area.
A small venue but very pleasant atmosphere, I promptly ordered the sample tray which was remarkably satisfying they offer a good mix of year round brews with a handful of seasonals. Most notable were the flavor and discourse of the Brown ale as well as the Red, IPA Drank Well, and being a fan of stouts in general and a very big fan of Russian Imperial stouts both for the enhanced complexity and history behind it I ordered the imperial stout and reminisced about the following story. Russian Imperial Stouts are so named because initially they were historically crafted by the British exclusively for the Czars of Russia. The beer is more robust in character and is definitely a slow sipper enjoyed on a winters day watching the sunrise from my living room with a good read in hand. which leads me to my next destination...
A sample of tray.
Mmmmm Imperial Stout.
I had previously researched Premier Wine a time ago and they keep on bringing in more interesting brews, for a time they had ordered a palate of Flying Dog's Barely Wine, and since it didn't sell very well it was left in storage for a long long time and you could pick up four barely wines for less than ten that had been cellared 5 years. Other than that they bring in a great selection of Dieu Du Ciel's products where the Peche Mortal is probably my favorite brew coming out of Canada. Dieu du Ciel is a Montreal based brewpub, and Brewery highly regarded in the beer circles of the world. They also bring in a very interesting selection of wines and Nove Scotis produced Cider's. they are ever expending their beer list and I tend to put a canning on the wallet every time I drop in.
Upon one of my adventures where I let my feet take me I came home to find that Paradise Imports buys coffee from the building in front of Goat Boy, hehaw what a treat to return home from Panama and have beans that were more freshly roasted than at their source.
Another Notable bottle shop is Bishop's Cellar Located on the waterfront offering the somewhat rare and hard to find beer from Sea Level Brewing, supposedly very good ones to get into. Also missed on the voyage were the notables Maxwell's plumb, Henry's House Granite Brewery. This information is meant to be informative, please enjoy your own trek and see where your legs take you.
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