Readers’ favourite Halifax breweries

In July we launched an online beer survey and you inundated us with votes for your favourite Halifax breweries. Here are your top five…
1. 2 Crows Brewing
1932 Brunswick St., Halifax
The youngest Halifax brewery to make our readers’ top-five list is also the one that received the most votes. Since opening at the end of January, 2 Crows has released nearly 40 brews, including its three core beers plus several canned seasonals and special editions. This week marks the launch of the brewery’s newest beer Promisedland double IPA on tap and available in cans and growlers. “Bad-ass wild IPAs…fruity, funky, fantastic,” says Justin Clarke of Hubley, N.S.
2. Unfiltered Brewing
6040 North St., Halifax
“Lots of IPAs and lots of swears,” says Phil Laugher of Halifax, who proclaimed Unfiltered his favourite in our poll. This North-End brewery has earned a reputation over the last two years for hop-bomb IPAs, expletive laced tweets, and launching a lawsuit against the NSLC last year. It claims the NSLC’s Retail Mark-Up Sales Allocation is a tax rather than a fee. Until April 2017, all Nova Scotian breweries paid the 50 cent per litre RMSA on all beer sold or given away on their premises. Unfiltered argues that the fee is unjust as it doesn’t sell through NSLC stores. In December, the provincial government changed the fee to 5% of wholesale cost of sales made on premises, effective April 1, 2017. Unfiltered’s suit is on going, with a judgement is expected within a few weeks.
3. Good Robot Brewing Co.
2736 Robie St., Halifax
This brewery earns press as well as it makes beer. Since opening two years ago, it’s been in the news for a dispute with the neighbouring Centre for Islamic Studies, and a subsequent make-up; winning a New Business of the Year award from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce in 2017; hosting crop-top tolerance day; and losing a box of branded condoms to Health Canada importation regulations. Antics aside, Good Robot produces a wide range of styles offering something to please most tastes. “Not only do they keep creating excellent craft beers, but they are very engaged in the community, what with their GoodWillBot promos on Mondays, prompting local food with Black Sheep, and fundraisers for Pride,” says Leigh Smith of Halifax.
4. Propeller Brewing Company
2015 Gottingen St., Halifax
It’s one of Halifax’s original craft breweries, but its not resting on its laurels 20 years in. Over the last six months, the brewery hosted a massive block party to celebrate and fundraise for the North End Community Heath Centre, welcomed new head brewer Cameron Crerar, opened a swanky taproom and rebranded its bottles for the first time since opening in 1997. One of the highlights of Crerar’s hiring is the return of Propeller’s small batch program, renamed and refocused. The Gottingen Small Batch Series allows thirsty punters to try new brews and offer feedback for the next batch.
5. North Brewing Company
2576 Agricola St., Halifax
North doesn’t have a taproom in the Halifax side of the water, but you’ll often find its brews on tap around the city and at sibling business, Battery Park in Dartmouth, which also offers growler fills and take home bottles. This Belgian-inspired brewery offers something different from its competitors, and will introduce you to new flavours and ingredients you won’t often find locally. This year North Brewing earned two gold Canadian Brewing Awards for Gus’ 65m Ale (Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale category) and Midnight- Glenora Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian (Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer). The 2018 CBAs will be held in Halifax in May 2018, so watch for exciting beer drinking opportunities next spring.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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