Wednesday, November 28, 2018

DRINK THIS: Propeller Brewing Co.'s Galaxy IPA

An intergalactic, hazy new one-off can

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 3:54 PM


The stars aligned last weekend for OG indie beer-maker Propeller Brewing Co. (2015 Gottingen Street and 617 Windmill Road), which released its latest special brew, a hazy Vermont IPA called Galaxy that's been blasting off the shelves ever since. Made using Australian galaxy hops (for that tropical, citrusy aroma, that'll have you forgetting we're in the ass-end of fall) as well as citra and mosaic hops (for a little kick of mango and tangerine), this juicy bugger is part of the Prop shop's work towards growing its canned selection. And because it's a one-off, you better hurry up and get your mitts on it because when it's gone, it's gone to a galaxy far, far away.

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Good Parma rises to the top(ping)

Posted By on Thu, Nov 22, 2018 at 4:07 PM

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When a shoulder injury took Ryan Spence away from organic farming, he wanted to find a way to keep his connection with good, clean food. A vegan for nearly a decade, Spence was no stranger to experimenting with flavour in the kitchen, but it was a Christmas gift from his mother that pushed him to try and make a superior cheese substitute topping.

“I took inspiration to try and make something better,” he says. “On the market today most vegan products or dairy alternatives are filled with chemicals or additives, and have plastic packaging that’s not reusable. It doesn’t really reflect the values of the target market.” And so Good Parma was born. After being tested by “picky siblings” and at vegan potlucks, Spence debuted his product at Halifax Veg Fest back in September—now 12 retailers in town carry his product.
“It’s really addictive. People are like, is there MSG in this?” he says, laughing. With a main ingredient of organic walnuts, he says Good Parma (which comes in glass containers, in original and spicy flavours) doesn’t really taste like parmesan, but provides a texture that’s more satisfying than a typical nutritional yeast topping.

And Spence is getting some karma for his parma: He’s donating 10 percent of profits to the Annapolis Valley’s North Mountain Animal Sanctuary—a rescue for abused or neglected farm animals. “They’re pretty much the forgotten ones,” he says. “I’ve seen first-hand the care they give those animals.”

Find Good Parma Saturdays at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market (1209 Marginal Road)and this weekend at the Dalplex Christmas Craft Market (6260 South Street).
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Julep Kitchen & Cocktails has plans for spring

New restaurant/ bar headed for Barrington Street

Posted By on Thu, Nov 22, 2018 at 1:45 AM

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“We don’t mind working hard,” says Ryan Wolfe of he and his business partner, chef Lawry Deneau. They’re the pair behind Chain Yard Urban Cidery’s in-house restaurant, Unchained Kitchen (2606 Agricola Street)—which has been doing big things out of an eight-by-eight kitchen since 2017—and they’ve got some plans for spring 2019.

That’s when Julep Kitchen & Cocktails aims to open its doors at 1684 Barrington Street, the longtime home of John W. Doull Booksellers, bringing casual-but-elevated food and drinks downtown.

“At Chain Yard we really try to focus on pairing with cider, which is very easy to do if you’ve had their cider, it’s quite refined. It almost drinks as a white wine,” says Wolfe. Julep will give Denau a chance to take the same “simple ingredients” and “cool flavours” of Unchained’s home-cooked classics to the next level with much more space to play with. “Lawry has spent a lot of time in the southern US and loves the culture and food there because it parallels so well with what’s going on in Nova Scotia with all those Acadian roots. We’re not southern, but it’s a play on that southern style.”

Team Julep is early in the planning and reno phase and looks forward to neighbouring their personal faves Stillwell and Highwayman sometime in April. “There’ll be passion in every bite,” says Wolfe.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fairview's The Anchor closes

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 9:52 AM

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Dear Valued Customers, The purpose of this letter is to reluctantly inform you that The Anchor will be closing our doors after our last service, Thursday November 8, 2018. We have proudly served the Fairview area for the last 2 years, and strived to bring something new and exciting to the community. Unfortunately, due to economic strain, we are no longer able to keep going on this journey. We are very proud of what we’ve built, and we are hoping to find someone to continue and build upon what we’ve started. We regret any inconvenience this may cause our loyal customers, and hope to see you all in the next couple of days. We can not thank you enough for all of your support. Sincerely, The Anchor

A post shared by The Anchor (@theanchorfairview) on

Fairview’s coolest spot for food, drinks and live music has sailed off into the sunset, leaving an empty spot on the strip. Culinary-driven community hub The Anchor (3625 Dutch Village Road) closed its doors permanently late last week after giving it a go and growing its entertainment offerings for two years.

In an announcement online (see above) the restaurant cited “economic strain” as the main reason it was saying goodbye.
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

All aboard Maritime Express Cider

Valley-based cidery gears up for its grand opening.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 1:11 AM

Hearn and Doidge
  • Hearn and Doidge
A new cider joint has its wheels turning in Kentville. Maritime Express Cider (325 Main Street) quietly opened last month, with co-owners Jimi Doidge and Scott Hearn running the show.

Doidge hails from Hamilton, Ontario, and made his way to Nova Scotia back in June 2016. He’s been crafting wine and cider from home for a decade now, so when he landed in Kentville he saw the opportunity for business.

“I knew there was a great apple region and wine region, but I didn’t know how great it was and how people support it,” says Doidge. He and his wife “fell in love with” the area, and he expects they’ll be living there for good.

When Doidge started poking around for possible taproom locations, he wound up meeting Hearn—who happened to want to open a cidery as well. Instead of ending up with competing businesses, the two teamed up.

“We both have a very similar vision for it—so that’s been great—and we work really well together,” says Doidge. He and Hearn pinned down a location in the historic Cornwallis Inn, which was once a luxury railway hotel. These days, it houses multiple businesses. “We just came and saw this spot and couldn’t believe the potential of it – with the stone floor, stone walls, the big patio we got put on and all that stuff.”

Maritime Express’ current offerings all have railway-themed names: The Flying Bluenose (a dry cider), The Dayliner (on the sweeter side) and The Roundhouse (rhubarb). Doidge is aiming to have a hopped cider on offer soon and a spiced cider for the holiday season, with more to come in the new year.

Maritime Express Cider is holding its grand opening event this Saturday, November 17.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

DRINK THIS: Blomidon Estate Winery’s 2014 Blanc de Noirs

Loved by critics for its toasty notes, full body and delicate bubbles.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 4:59 PM


A Nova Scotian bubbly goes great with food. No surprise, then, that contestant chefs at Canada's Great Kitchen Party in Halifax—the rebranded Gold Medal Plates national culinary competition—choose overwhelmingly to pair their competition dishes with local sparkling wine.

This makes for an especially good opportunity to size up some of the top sparkling wines in the region. At this year's Halifax competition, held last month, Blomidon Estate Winery's 2014 Blanc de Noirs came out on top, according to the Kitchen Party's panel of local wine judges (this author included).

As the name indicates, Blomidon's Blanc de Noirs is a white wine pressed from dark grapes—Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, two classic Champagne varieties. At pressing, juice is separated from skin, meaning the pigment found in grape skins has little opportunity to bleed into the juice, leaving only the faintest remnant of colour—a pleasing barely-even-salmon tinge of orange-pink that is nearly imperceptible once it's poured into a glass.

The wine is wonderfully lively and balanced, with "pronounced toasty notes on the nose, freshly baked bread, red apple, spice and underlying aroma of mature cheese," according to Alanna MacIntyre of Bishop's Cellar, one of the competition's judges. "Full bodied, with a pleasant, creamy texture, fine mousse and a dryish finish," adds Craig Pinhey, New Brunswick wine, beer and spirits writer, also a Kitchen Party wine judge. "A total delight," sums up Heather Rankin of Obladee, A Wine Bar, another panel judge. "Floral, woodsy, wild cherry note and a soft delicate bubble."

Blomidon Estate Winery's Blanc de Noirs is available for $45 at the winery, through its online store and at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market (1209 Marginal Road) on Saturdays. Well worth having on hand for the holiday season.

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