Thursday, May 31, 2018

Seven brews to toast The Coast

Join us on June 21 at the Stillwell Beergarden.

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 3:23 PM

  • Lenny Mullins


Stillwell Beergarden
June 21, 6pm

As you've probably heard by now, The Coast turns 25 this year. Why should you care? Because we'd like you to join us for a toast. No champagne here, though! Instead, seven Nova Scotia breweries are pouring up special beers (and a cider) in honour of the occasion. Even better, each brewery is donating five percent of its profits to a local cause. The beers will be available June through July, with a special launch event on June 21. Check out what'll be on tap:

Sorry by Good Robot Brewing Co.
toasting to Bryony House

Love The Way We Love by Propeller Brewing Co.
toasting to North End Community Health Centre

This Beer Is Toast! By Garrison Brewing
toasting to Feed Nova Scotia

And the Hazy Sea by Spindrift Brewing Co.
toasting to Ecology Action Centre

Voice of the Doggos by Brightwood Brewery
toasting to SPCA Nova Scotia

Wheatly Edition by Off Track Brewing
toasting to SPCA Nova Scotia

Ahead by a Quarter Century by Boar Back Cider
toasting to the Downie Wenjack Fund
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Monday, May 28, 2018

Draft picks: nine Canadian Brewing Award-winning beers from Nova Scotia

We're so proud of you.

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2018 at 1:41 PM

Never Again, one of 2 Crows' silver award winners. - VIA FACEBOOK
  • Never Again, one of 2 Crows' silver award winners.
  • Via Facebook
Congratulations, Nova Scotia brewers. Nine beers from five local brewing companies took home Canadian Brewing Awards this year. For the full list of the 2018 Canadian Brewing Award-winners, go here. For our homegrown champions, look no further.

Gold winners

Category: 53 — Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Beer: Bonanza! Foedre Aged Wheat Wine
Brewery: 2 Crows Brewing Co.

Silver winners


Category: 4 – Kellerbier/Zwickelbier
Beer: Little Beast
Brewery: North Brewing Company

Category: 11 – Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale
Beer: Gus’ 65m Ale
Brewery: North Brewing Company

Category: 13 – French and Belgian Style Saison
Beer: Dynamo Rustic Saison
Brewery: 2 Crows Brewing Co.

Category: 33 – North American Style Amber/Red Ale
Beer: Temptation Red Ale
Brewery: Boxing Rock Brewing Company

Category: 42 – American-style Brett Beer
Beer: Never Again Foedre Aged Brett Pale Ale with Peaches
Brewery: 2 Crows Brewing Co.

Category: 51B – Barley Wine-Style Ale – American-Style
Beer: Giantess Barley Wine
Brewery: Tatamagouche Brewing Company

Bronze winners

Category: 42 – American-style Brett Beer
Beer: Oh My Darlin’-Clementine Brett Pale Ale
Brewery: North Brewing Company

Category: 48 – Experimental Beer
Beer: Smoky Chipotle Porter
Brewery: Meander River Farm & Brewery

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Drink this: North Brewing's Twinkle Pony cookie stout

For beer fans with a sweet tooth.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Brad Wilkinson, who brewed Twinkle Pony, poses for a photo. Label design by Nicole Giancomantonio. - PETER BURBRIDGE
  • Brad Wilkinson, who brewed Twinkle Pony, poses for a photo. Label design by Nicole Giancomantonio.
  • Peter Burbridge

If Cookie Monster drank beer, this would probably be his favourite.

North Brewing Company’s latest release is adorably titled Twinkle Pony. It’s a cookie stout which includes flavours you'd find in a bakery, brewed with macarons from Le French Fix Pâtisserie.

“Pastry stouts are a fun style you see lots of breweries experimenting with these days,” says North Brewing co-owner Rozina Darvesh, who worked out the recipe with fellow co-owner and brewer Josh Herbin. “I love French macarons and beers with coconut in them, so we decided to use the macaron as inspiration and experiment with this style using toasted coconut, toasted almonds and vanilla.”

The chocolate notes come from the malt, but the toasted coconut, almonds and vanilla were added when the fermentation was finished. This gave them more flexibility when they wanted to adjust the flavour, Darvesh explains: “We ended up adding three times the amount of coconut than was originally intended.”

Cans of Twinkle Pony—featuring a colourful label by illustrator Nicole Giacomantonio—will be available at both the Dartmouth and Halifax locations of North on Friday, March 9. It’ll also be pouring at Battery Park.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Drink this: Propeller's Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout

A beer with bourbon character, “without so much of the harshness.”

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 3:28 PM

  • submitted

Propeller Brewing Co. has just released the first in a series of barrel-aged beers.

Last week, Propeller launched its Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout—a new take on the original Russian Imperial Stout. Head brewer Cameron Crerar was keen on putting out some barrel-aged creations, so he picked up some Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels to get the ball (and the beer) rolling.

“We got the barrels in first without any sort of plan of what was going to go into it, but the Russian was sort of the no-brainer for the first one,” explains Denys Ploughman, another member of the brew team. “It’s kind of got a cult following right now.”

After brewing a batch of the regular Russian Imperial Stout, the booze was placed in a barrel to age for three months. “We weren’t doing any fermentation in the barrels, we were just straight-up aging it in the barrel,” says Ploughman.

Through this process, the beer took on a lot of the bourbon character, but “without so much of the harshness” one might expect. “A lot of the subtle vanilla, sort of oaky tones you get in bourbon are coming through in the stout, but it’s really quite drinkable as well. It even took on a bit of an amber hue.” Check out Propeller's video of the process here.

Other beers are sitting in barrels as we speak, but release
dates on those are TBD.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Drink this: Garrison's Pucker Up!

Pick up this pink drink in canned form for the first time on Valentine's Day.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 10:44 AM

click image VIA FACEBOOK
  • VIA Facebook

If you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day, at least you can put your lips on a new can of beer. 

OK, maybe that sounds depressing—but in this context, it’s really not. Garrison Brewing is rolling out a canned release of Pucker Up! just in time for a Valentine treat. The bright-coloured tart and fruity booze has been on-tap as a seasonal offering for the last three years, but its popularity has prompted Garrison to make it available in cans as well.

Beers of the sour variety have recently become more popular among craft enthusiasts, with tasty little numbers on offer from the likes of Boxing Rock, 2 Crows and Unfiltered (and plenty of others) as well as Garrison. Garrison explains the complex kettle-souring process in a media release:

The process stops mid-brew and allowed to sour by introducing lactobacillus (the same bacteria used to make sour milk or yogurt). When the brew continues, the bacteria is killed off in the boil and the resulting beer has a refreshingly tart sourness.

Those looking to crack upon a cold one (whether it’s with the boys or with a lover) can head to the Garrison brewery in the Halifax Seaport on February 14. A launch party is taking place in collaboration with the Dal/King’s Swing Dance Society at 7pm, featuring a free introductory lesson. Pucker Up! will also be up for grabs at a number of bars, restaurants and private liquor stores.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

As the 2 Crows fly: Six anniversary beer releases

The 2 Crows Brewing Company has its one-year anniversary this month.

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 9:00 AM

click image Forever Young, feat. a label design by Midnight Oil. - VIA FACEBOOK
  • Forever Young, feat. a label design by Midnight Oil.
  • via Facebook

The 2 Crows Brewing Co. hit Brunswick Street on January 28 last year, and it’s been going strong ever since. “It’s been a whirlwind for sure,” says co-owner and brewer Jeremy Taylor

Going forward, Taylor wants to release some of 2 Crows’ core beers to Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and PEI. Halifax can look forward to more releases and collaborations as well.

“We’re hoping to still focus on maintaining the quality of the core beers—and even evolving them to be better and better—while still having fun and innovating and coming up with new things.”

The folks at 2 Crows are marking its one-year anniversary with some events TBA. They’re also celebrating by releasing a bunch of new beer, of course. Taylor filled us in on all the details below.

Forever Young (8.5 percent, 29 IBU)
Foedre-aged Brett saison with rose
Release: Saturday, January 13
“This beer is a rustic saison, fermented in a foedre with our house yeast culture and an experimental brettanomyces strain. It was conditioned for about three months on locally foraged rosehips, and finally conditioned with a small amount of rosewater.”

Panhandle Slim (4.9 percent, 17 IBU)
Foedre-aged multigrain farmhouse grisette
Release: Anniversary Weekend
“Brewed with barley, oats, spelt, wheat, and rye, fermented with a blend of saison and brettanomyces yeasts and conditioned for about four months in a foedre that previously held cognac. Super dry, earthy, lightly funky, and refreshing.”

Magic Touch (6.8 percent, 22 IBU)
Foedre-aged golden ale with Brett C
Release: Anniversary weekend
“Brewed with pilsner and wheat malt, and fermented in foedre with a brett strain that gives subtle pineapple and wine-like flavours. The beer was dry hopped after conditioning for three months with Hallertau Blanc and Centennial, and the result is super white-winey, with big crushed gooseberry notes.”

Small batch beers (400 cans each, available only at the brewery)

Bingo Bango (4.1 percent, one IBU)
Release: Saturday, January 27
Blackberry and bay leaf Brett gose, can-conditioned.

House Funk (7.7 percent, 29 IBU)
Release: Saturday, January 27
Brett saison, can-conditioned.

Dynamo (5.1 percent, 28 IBU)
Release: Saturday, January 27
Rustic saison with grapefruit, can-conditioned.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Drink this: Stillwell Four

The Halifax bar is gearing up for its four-year anniversary with a new brew.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 1:55 PM

Stillwell’s latest creation is not only a celebration of four years in the biz, but also the first bottle release to come out of its own brewing location.

Earlier this year, Stillwell co-owner Chris Reynolds decided to rent some space in Propeller Brewing’s Gottingen location. In the past, Stillwell had teamed up with Boxing Rock and North Brewing to make booze—but the time had come for a brewery to call its own. After several months, the fruits of the team’s labour are ripe for the picking.

“I think there’s been a lot anticipation and people have been asking about these beers for a long time,” says Reynolds. “We’ve had some success with this style of brewing in these other breweries, so having our own to dictate everything and give the beers the time that they need to be at their best is exciting.”

This “farmhouse brewing” process includes a blend of different yeasts requiring long, slow fermenting. Bottle conditioning (re-fermenting in a bottle under pressure) comes next, adding even more time to the brew.

The soon-to-be released saison, simply titled “Four,” continues Stillwell’s tradition of releasing a beer each anniversary. The beer’s been aged in a barrel once used for Sauvignon Blanc, giving it some additional character.

“One thing that drinkers will notice first is that it’s tart—sort of a sour beer,” says Reynolds.

Four will be on tap at Stillwell’s anniversary party on Saturday and bottles will be for sale out of the brewery on Sunday starting at noon. It’s a small batch, so if you wanna try it, Reynolds says you better hustle. He anticipates there will be three more Stillwell bottle releases before Christmas.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The prize-winning pints of the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards

A re-cap of this year’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards from your buds, 902 BrewCast.

Posted By , and on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Philip Church, Kyle Andrus and Jeremy White of the ACBAs Best Brewery, Big Spruce - ANTHONY WIGHT
  • Philip Church, Kyle Andrus and Jeremy White of the ACBAs Best Brewery, Big Spruce
  • Anthony Wight

The fourth annual Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards were presented this past weekend at the Stubborn Goat in downtown Halifax. The awards showcased the best in beer and cider from around the Atlantic region, with a whopping 321 entries submitted from New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and PEI (which is up from 257 total entries in 2016).

Organizers Mark DeWolfe and Becky Grant from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers were charged with getting all of the entries into one place, then organizing them by category and subcategory. In the end, there were 296 beers submitted from 43 breweries and brewpubs, as well as 25 ciders from seven different cider houses. Over the course of 18 hours, and with the help of eight stewards, 20 judges tasted and scored the entries based on a tailored version of the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines.

Top performers from the initial tasting rounds of the various categories and subcategories then went to a mini Best of Show to determine the awards for gold, silver and bronze across the 14 different categories. The highest scoring entries, breweries, brewpubs and cider houses were then selected for Beer of the Year, Brewery of the Year, Brewpub of the Year, Cider of the Year and Cider House of the Year awards.

Amongst all the buzz during the reception before the awards was a sense that win or lose, the ACBAs were a chance for the breweries, their staff and their families to celebrate the accomplishments of the last year, the work that goes into crafting great beer and cider, and the camaraderie that comes with being a part of the ever-improving Atlantic craft beer and cider scene.

Through the course of the awards there were cheers and laughs as winners were read out, and you could feel the support of the community for each of the winners as congratulations were shared.
As far as the notable awards go, Big Spruce Brewing of Nyanza was awarded Brewery of the Year while also winning gold for Belgian Specialty Ale and silver in three other categories. Halifax newcomers Chain-Yard Urban Cidery won Cider House of the Year, along with gold in the Standard Cider Category and bronze in Specialty Cider. The beer and cider that scored the highest individual scores were then awarded ACBAs for Beer and Cider of the Year, with the Sterling Hefeweizen from Breton Brewing of Sydney winning the top honour for beer and the Fall Cider from Fredericton’s Red Rover winning for cider.

The public weighed in and voted Go Devil from Upstreet Brewing in Charlottetown as People’s Choice Beer and the Original Cider from Long Reach, NB’s Yip Cider as People’s Choice Cider.

After the awards portion of the evening, there was a four-course dinner prepared by the Stubborn Goat with each course paired with a beer. Breweries highlighted in the pairings were Garrison, Spindrift, Big Spruce and Breton. The event quickly sold out this year with seats going to brewery staff, judges and any craft beer fan that wanted to attend. Now that the ACBAs are over, the next big awards event for beer is the Canadian Beer Awards, which will be taking place in Halifax in May of 2018.

To hear interviews with some of the ACBA winners, check out 902 BrewCast's latest episode here, it'll be live October 31.

2017 Atlantic Canadian Beer Award winners:

North American & European Style Lager

Gold Boxing Rock Brewing Co.- Stayin’ Alive Bock
Silver Moosehead Breweries Ltd.- Moosehead Lager
Bronze Good Robot Brewing Co.- Extra BIG-ASS Beer

German Style Specialty Ales
Gold Breton Brewing Co.- Stirling Hefeweizen
Silver Tatamagouche Brewing Co.- North Shore Lagered Ale
Bronze North Brewing Company- Little Beast

UK Style Specialty Ales
Gold Pump House Brewery- Barley Wine Ale
Silver Split Rock Brewing Co.-  Alli’s Big Brown Ale
Bronze Garrison Brewing Co.- Irish Red

North American Style Specialty Ale
Gold: Trider’s Craft Beer- Brew-Deau Cream Ale
Silver: Tatamagouche Brewing Co.-  Giantess Barleywine
Bronze: Oland Brewery - Keith’s IPA

Belgian Style Specialty Ale
Gold Big Spruce Brewing- S’Il Vous Plait
Silver Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault- Tante Blanche
Bronze Quidi Vidi Brewing Company- Winter Ale

North American Style Amber / Red Ale
Gold Sea Level Brewing Co.- Blue Heron Extra Special Bitter
Silver Boxing Rock Brewing Co.- Temptation Red Ale
Bronze Hammond River Brewing - Red Coat India Red Ale

Fruit & Field Beer
Gold Alexander Keith’s Brewery- Hortonville Pumpkin Ale
Silver Big Spruce Brewing- Guava Get Me Some!
Bronze Tatamagouche Brewing Co.- Rushton’s Peach

Pale Ales
Gold Breton Brewing Co.-  Seven Years Pale Ale
Silver Big Spruce Brewing- Kitchen Party Pale Ale
Bronze North Brewing Company- Priority Pale Ale

Stout / Porter
Gold Tatamagouche Brewing Co.- Two Rivers Baltic Porter
Silver 2 Crows Brewing Co.- Midnight Mood American Porter
Bronze Big Axe Brewery- Shakespeare Stout

India Pale Ale
Gold Roof Hound Brewing Co. Ltd. – Big Stink IPA
Silver Big Spruce Brewing – Tim’s Dirty American IPA
Bronze Nine Locks Brewery – Fathom DIPA

Experimental Beer
Gold North Brewing Company- Oh My Darlin’ Clementine Brett Pale Ale
Silver Uncle Leo’s Brewery- Nachtical Illusion Schwarzbier
Bronze Good Robot Brewing Co.- Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie v3.0

Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer
Gold Garrison Brewing Co.- Barrel-Aged Ol’ Fog Burner Barleywine
Silver Big Spruce Brewing- Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Wild Wild Wit
Bronze 2 Crows Brewing Co.- Bonanza! Calvados-Aged Wheat Wine

Standard Cider and Perry
Gold Chain-Yard Urban Cidery – Foundation
Silver Yip Cider – Russett
Bronze Coastliner Craft Cider – Coastliner Original

Specialty Cider and Perry
Gold Red Rover Craft Cider – Fall Cider
Silver ShipBuilders Cider Ltd. – Sid’s Chai Apple Cider
Bronze Chain-Yard Urban Cidery – Hopped Up

Brewery of the Year
Big Spruce Brewing (Nyanza, NS)

Brewpub of the Year
Paddy’s Pub (Wolfville, NS)

Cider House of the Year
Chain-Yard Urban Cidery (Halifax, NS)

Beer of the Year
Stirling Hefeweizen – Breton Brewing (Sydney, NS)

Cider of the Year
Fall Cider – Red Rover Craft Cider (Fredericton, NB)

People’s Choice Award – Cider
Original – Yip Cider (Long Reach, NB)

People’s Choice Award – Beer
Go Devil – Upstreet Craft Brewing (Charlottetown, PE)

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Drink this: 2 Crows' I Love You
brett saison

The Brunswick Street brewery is stirring up a new beer with a romantic name.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 2:24 PM

If you’re too shy to say “I love you” to the bartender, you might miss out on an upcoming beer from 2 Crows Brewing Co.

“One of the people in the tasting room suggested that,” 2 Crows brewer Jeremy Taylor says of the beer’s name.

One of the key ingredients in I Love You is lemon verbena—a plant sometimes used for tea. Taylor had one of the plants at his place when he lived in his hometown of Vancouver. “I really liked the smell and taste of it,” he says.

Taylor called up Phil Holmans of World Tea House to help him source some lemon verbena, and Holmans has also been giving the 2 Crows crew a hand with the taste tests.

“Collaborating with them is really cool, 'cause it gets me out of my element,” says Holmans, who has teamed up with other craft brewers such as Spindrift and Boxing Rock. People sometimes will hire Holmans on a consulting basis simply “for my taste buds,” he explains. “Some teas aren’t easy to get those flavour notes and flavour profiles from, so you really have to work at it and train your palette, which I’ve been doing for a very long time.”

“I’m OK with beer flavours and what hops and what grains to use and stuff, but Phil knows tea so much more than I ever could,” says Taylor.

The beer label is also a bit of a throwback to Taylor’s time in Vancouver. The graffiti-style text that reads “I love you” is an homage to tags he would see painted around the city (possibly part of the I Love You World Graffiti Project).

“My wife—the first time she told me she loved me was actually just reading that off the side of a building,” says Taylor, laughing. “So, it’s sort of a personal connection for me and her as well.”

I Love You is expected to be available on tap and in cans starting November 4.

  • midnight oil

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Sober Island Brewing and ShipBuilders Cider launch collaboration

Cider and oyster stout join forces to create a unique flavour.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 3:59 PM

click image VIA FACEBOOK
  • via Facebook

Sober Island Brewing Co. has teamed up with ShipBuilders Cider to collaborate on a medley of beer and cider, launching this weekend

Sober Island Brewing owner Rebecca Atkinson connected with Sean Sears of ShipBuilders through a Mashup Lab program, and Atkinson says Sears has since become a mentor of sorts. Now, they’re finally launching a product together.

“I think we were just looking for a blend that suited, I guess, our liking,” says Atkinson. “You don’t really know what you’re gonna get when you put together an oyster stout and a cider. I mean, oyster stout in itself is a pretty unique product and they all vary incredibly.”

The beer-cider hybrid is called Core and Keel, a combination of Shipbuilders’ cider and Sober Island’s oyster stout. The stout is accurate named, as it actually requires oysters as an ingredient—whole, fresh oysters are added during the last 10 minutes of the boil. Using that particular beer was Sears’ idea.

“I was just really interested in collaborating with them for a unique product and, I mean, it doesn’t really get more unique than that with our beer,” says Atkinson.

She notes that the blend “resembles more of a wine product than it would beer or cider,” so it will appeal to wine drinkers as much as beer aficionados.

“It was sort of rugged in the flavour but really velvety in the mouth feel, and with that light cider bubble it was very effervescent in the end.”

Core and Keel will be available at the launch party at Battery Park Beer Bar on Saturday.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tanner & Co. Brewing is now open in Chester

Stop, Tanner time.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 3:41 PM


Last weekend Chester Basin had some drinks. Tanner & Co. Brewing—the latest addition to Nova Scotia’s craft beer scene—officially launched its little operation (50 Angus Hiltz Road) with Dan Tanner, a veteran in the food and drink world, at the helm. Tanner, who’s worked at White Point Beach Resort as a food and beverage manager and sommelier for the last 17 years, was turned onto the beer world thanks to his interest in wine.

“It was part of my goal for what I wanted to do for my career—I jumped into the CAPS [Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers] training, which lead to planting some vines to see how that goes,” says Tanner, who also studied culinary arts at NSCC. “The original intent was that we were gonna do a little winery. We learned its not all that fun to have a vineyard, it’s very frustrating with our climates, trying to be organized and keep everything alive, and you only get one shot a year. Brewing went more with my culinary arts side, you can mess with it and play with the recipe.”

After five-plus years of serious experimentation with brewing at home, he decided—thanks to lots of compliments about his beer— to go for it and launch Tanner & Co. Brewing. Starting with a focus on German beers, Tanner nailed down a rye beer and steam beer, but has expanded his list of creations to include a pale ale, a Belgian blonde and a lemon lavender saison. He says he’s happy to keep Tanner & Co. very micro for now, focusing first on getting kegs into restaurants and bars and filling growlers at the farmers’ market.

“For now I’m happy staying small, I love my day job,” says Tanner. “It’s a hobby slash dream slash it fits well with what I do already. We’ll see.”

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Drink this: Good Robot's Reclaiming My Time stout

Evelyn White and Good Robot team up to make a Communibrew inspired by Maxine Waters.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Evelyn White - JOANNE BEALY
  • Evelyn White
  • Joanne Bealy
First-time brewer, Evelyn White, is making a statement with her small batch of beer called Reclaiming My Time. White says she was inspired by congresswoman Maxine Waters and the now infamous viral video of her questioning treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin.

“For a Black woman to say ‘I'm reclaiming my time,’ I took it as a wonderful symbol of a voice speaking up and standing up for the oppressed,” says White. An African American journalist and author, she feels Waters’ confrontative and bold message is easily transferrable to Nova Scotia.

Since she moved to Halifax from BC back in 2012, White says her “jaw dropped to discover how long, painful and distressing the discrimination of the Black community has been” in Nova Scotia. White was a victim of this discrimination in her own neighbourhood in the west end of Halifax when she was street checked and stopped by two white female HRM officers.

With the recent UN report claiming that systemic racism in Nova Scotia persists, she believes that African Nova Scotians have long been reclaiming their time in various communities and organizations.

“Part of my mission when I'm involved with Good Robot or any mainstream white-owned or -dominated business, is I want to encourage them to look at the racial dynamics in their organization and make it more inclusive,” she says.

Kelly Costello, bartender, brewer and organizer of  Good Robot Brewing Company's new Communibrew program that encourages both experienced and first-time brewers to make beer, says she hopes to diversify the craft beer community.

“I hope that people see Evelyn, an African American, a woman and someone who is not young and say, ‘Oh okay it's not just white dudes with beards that do it.’”

White spent five hours in early September making the beer with Costello and wanted her to try and recreate her favourite stout beer called Mackeson, which White hasn’t tasted in years.

“It's very rich, it has lactose and it has a sweet creaminess to it. We also have roasty notes because of the chocolate malt we used,” says Costello.

Reclaiming My Time will be on tap at the Good Robot starting today.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

North Brewing Company wins two Canadian Brewing Awards

And the CBAs are coming to Halifax next year!

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 4:19 PM

North Brewing Co's hardware - ROZINA DARVESH
  • North Brewing Co's hardware
  • Rozina Darvesh

Rozina Darvesh and Peter Burbridge struck gold last weekend. The co-owners of North Brewing Company took home two gold trophies with their first-time entries at the Canadian Brewing Awards, which took place in Ottawa. North’s Gus’ 65m Ale was the victor in the Belgian Abbey/Pale category and its Midnight Glenora Barrel-Aged in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (dark) category.

The awards are Canada’s premier competition among beer and cider manufacturers. This year marks 15 years since the Canadian Brewing Awards started judging the finest beers the country has to offer. This year’s awards weren’t just a win for North, but Nova Scotia, too—the event will take place in Halifax for the first time in 2018. To the folks at North Brewing, having the event take place here puts Nova Scotia on the map in the world of craft beer. “It shows just how the industry has evolved,” said Burbridge. “Halifax now has more breweries per-capita than anywhere else in the country.”

Starting a brewery was a way for Darvesh and Burbridge to stay and build roots in Nova Scotia. The art of making beer helped combine the food science degree Darvesh received from Dalhousie University with Burbridge’s MBA into a family business. The two beers that took home gold in Ottawa were conceived by the couple in the company’s first year. “They’ve been with us since the beginning,” said Darvesh.

Gus’ 65m Ale is a Belgian-style “patio beer”, blonde with citrus notes, created and named for North’s neighbour Gus’ Pub and the 65-metre distance between them. Midnight, a strong brew with tones of cherry, dark-chocolate, whiskey and vanilla is barrel-aged in Cape Breton and bottled in Halifax.

Three other Nova Scotian breweries—Uncle Leo’s Brewing, Boxing Rock and Propeller—took home awards over the weekend as well, while Bulwark Cider and Sid’s Cider took multiple honours in the cider categories.

Darvesh says she is pumped to show what Nova Scotian craft brewers are capable of at the awards next year. “We, as a brewing company, get to showcase what we do to the rest of the country,” she says, “open our doors and show-off our province and reciprocate the welcome we received in Ottawa.”

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Bonjour, Mon Cerise

This lager is the first in a series of collaborative beers in honour of Garrison's 20th anniversary.

Posted By on Mon, May 8, 2017 at 5:11 PM

  • Alex Pearson

As Garrison Brewing Co. marks its 20th year in the beer business, the company is rolling out some new brews—the first of which is the aptly-named Mon Cerise. It's a collaboration between Garrison, North Brewing, Good Robot and Spindrift.

Justin Zinck, retail manager at Garrison, says they wanted to celebrate how the industry has grown over the last 20 years. After deciding to do a collaboration, they realized there were far too many craft breweries in the province to collaborate on one beer. As a result, they're splitting things up regionally, starting with this joint effort in Halifax.

"It was a pleasure working with all these guys," says Zinck. "Everyone bruought a different set of expertise to the table."

Mon Cerise combines Spindrift's specialty in lager and North's expertise in Belgian beer to create (what else?) a Belgian lager. It's made with cherries too, of course, but Zinck stresses it's not a maraschino taste.

"There's a lot of care and technique going into it to make sure we balance the cherry flavour, make sure we get the best extracts and purees that we could."

It's been available at the companies' respective taprooms, but according to Zinck, Mon Cerise is almost gone. No need to fear, though: Garrison plans on launching one more anniversary beer before the summer and another two around summer's end.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Propeller wants you to booze your own adventure

The Brew North strong and free.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 11:42 AM

  • Lenny Mullins

Lager: A part of our heritage?

Propeller Brewing Company is asking breweries and home brewers across the country to participate in the Great Canadian Lager Challenge—Propeller’s way of celebrating Canada 150.

“Up until five years ago, there still wasn’t much community in the craft beer world,” says Aaron Emery, the company’s director of marketing. “If there is anything today, there is community.”

Brewers in different regions across the country are “actually starting to to talk to each other.”  The idea, Emery explains, is to actually do something with that community.

“There’s such a—in some ways, needless—divide between the mainstream beer world and the craft beer world,” says Emery, adding that there’s a time and place for different flavours. The light and crisp beers might be what folks knock back at a baseball game or sip on the beach, for instance.

“Specifically, Canada Day at noon probably isn’t the time and place for the jalapeño coriander stout.”

Between now and July 1, brewers are invited to brew a lager and “make it the most ridiculously Canadian lager that you can.”

“I’d love to see a Nova Scotian brewery do sea salt and seaweed and whatever,” says Emery, “or someone in Alberta to do a Rocky Mountain snowmelt.”

Those who want to enter the competition will then send their beer to Halifax for Propeller’s 20th anniversary party, where it will be put before a panel of judges. Beer won’t necessarily be assessed by how “good” it tastes, but the more creative the approach, the better. 

“It’s just about having fun. Telling a story.”

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Vol 28, No 3
November 12, 2020

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