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Drink up at the Halifax Beverage Expo

The inaugural event highlights non-alcoholic beverage businesses from the east coast.


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HFX Beverage Expo 2018
Sunday April 9, 9am-7pm
Dalhousie Student Union Building

Get ready to get hydrated (and make sure there's a bathroom nearby). The first Halifax Beverage Expo is taking place this weekend.

"We want a really diverse crowd," says Phil Holmans, owner of World Tea House. He's organizing the expo with David Moore of Tea North. "We also want to focus on the people who like craft."

With no shortage of wine and beer festivals to choose from, this fest is offering something different. "We're a booze-centric province. That's OK. But there are a lot of non-alcoholic beverages that come from Nova Scotia," says Moore.

Holmans started the Halifax Tea Festival with Ashton Rodenhiser in 2015, but there were never enough tea-centric businesses to fill the space in the Halifax Forum. This year, Holmans expanded the idea, went with a different venue and got Moore on board. Thus, the Halifax Beverage Expo was born.

Although it's not exclusively focused on tea—coffee, smoothies, kombucha and more will be in the mix—the expo is still on track to be a tea-lover's dream. Hourly seminars are also part of the event, "so we're going to educate people on this product," says Holmans. On top of that, he's using the expo as an opportunity to debut some barrel-aged teas.

The selection includes Indian oolong that's been aged in a gin barrel, white tea aged in a sauvignon blanc barrel and a black tea called Assam aged in a port barrel. Those barrels were courtesy of 2 Crows Brewing: a testament to how small business owners help each other out.

"I like that sense of community and that's really what we want to put forward in the festival. The sense of community with the beverage industry," says Holmans.

While supporting local is a big part of the expo, Holmans emphasizes that the event isn't exclusive. In fact, David's Tea will be one of the bigger companies present along with the selection of locally-owned vendors.

"If it doesn't have alcohol in it and you drink it, we want it there."

Coupons are available at various businesses around town (such as World Tea House) for $2 off the entry fee. 

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