Breweries and Distilleries
In a city with more pubs and clubs per capita than almost anywhere else in Canada, people know a thing or two about beer. So when you pull up a barstool in Halifax, you’ll have lots of choice beyond the major brands – although Keith’s (a.k.a. ‘Keats’) is still an institution here. Many exotic and local brews are on tap. To the India pale ales, lagers, pilsners and stouts, add spruce, maple, jalapeno and vanilla beers to the drinks list.
Six craft breweries and brew pubs have honed their unique recipes in Halifax. Granite Brewery, Propeller and Garrison’s Brewery got the kegs rolling, and now Rogue’s Roost, RockBottom and North Brewing Company have sidled up to the bar.
It’s also an amber age for beer across all of Nova Scotia, complementing our growing (and award-winning) wine scene. Sea Level in Port Williams, Hell Bay in Liverpool, Boxing Rock in Shelburne, Big Spruce in Baddeck, Tatamagouche Brewing Company in Tatamagouche, Authenic Sacoast Brewing Co. in Guysborough, and Paddy’s Brewery in Annapolis Valley all contribute to this rich and foamy heritage.
Alexander Keith’s Brewery
Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale remains the most popular beer in Nova Scotia, and the top specialty beer in Canada. Mr. Keith was one of Halifax’s most influential citizens, and was even the mayor of the city…three times. His light, floral-tasting beer is still made here, and the original brewery today welcomes visitors with animators in period costume circa 1863, stories and, of course, a frosty pint.
If spirits are your tipple of choice, Nova Scotia is home to two craft distilleries. Ironworks is a micro-distillery located in the UNESCO world heritage town of Lunenburg on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Named for the 1893 marine blacksmith’s shop they call home, the company distills vodka, rum, liqueurs and brandies by hand in small batches.
Glenora Distillers on Cape Breton Island is North America’s first single malt whiskey distillery. They make several specialty whiskies and rum, but their best-known product is Glen Breton Rare, a Scottish-style single malt made in copper pot stills that were hammered out by hand in Scotland.