City Guides » Beer Guide

House beers

Local brewies often prepare one-off blends of beers for bars and restaurants around town. They are worth searching out.

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For the diehard beer hunter always looking for a new taste, there is a decent selection of blended house beers poured out in bars and restaurants across the city.

Propeller currently has the most specialty blends on tap in and out of the city. "It's not practical to do a single batch of beer for a place, so we do blends of existing beers," says John Allen, owner of Propeller Brewery on Gottingen. "It's difficult and challenging from a production point of view, but we like doing it."

There's the amber Opa at Opa (1565 Argyle), Brooklyn Dark at the Brooklyn Warehouse (2795 Windsor), Menz Pale Ale at the Menz bar (2182 Gottingen), the Knot Ale in Lunenburg's Knot Pub, the Kilted Frenchman (Bayport, South Shore) and the amber Horsepower is their biggest seller at The Seahorse (1665 Argyle).

Brian Titus, president of Garrison Brewery, has made a dozen house blends over the years, but Garrison offers only two house beers on tap now. Jamieson's Dark (Jamieson's, 5 Cumberland Drive, Dartmouth) and the Split Crow Select (Split Crow, 1855 Granville), a blend of the Irish Red and the Tall Ship Amber.

Instead, Garrison does Firkin Fridays at Maxwell's Plum (1600 Grafton). Every week they brew enough beer to fit in a small wooden cask, called a firkin. They crack the firkin open with a mallet and pour pints straight from the cask. Yon firkin is crackede at 3:30 and runs out quickly. It costs $2.95 per glass.

Finally, there's Brewdebaker's Tap & Grill (612 Windmill Road) attached to the Sleeman's Brewery. This is the one place to get Sleeman's 20th Anniversary Ale, Sleeman's Red and Clear, their low-carb beer.

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