A Craft Beer Drinker's Guide To Halifax

During Easter break, Mosiac Wit skipped the province and headed (slightly) west to see what the craft brewery scene was like in Halifax and Dartmouth. Gone for a little more than five days, we managed to visit over a fifteen breweries and beer related hot spots (and a few non-beer places too!)

With summer approaching, we thought we would provide Racket readers with a Craft Beer Drinker’s Guide to Halifax should your travels find you there soon!

We included the fifteen breweries and brewpubs we visited, plus a few more non-beer related stops along the way (cause sometimes you need some other food, coffee, and water to keep brewery hopping <pun INtended>!)


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AP: I was the heart eyes emoji as soon as I stepped foot on their green space. Funky, vibrant, and approachable is the best way to describe the space and the brews. The Creature Feature I gave me everything I need in a juicy citrus IPA and their Bingo Bronson Chocolate Porter blew me away with the layers of richness. I like to let my porters/stouts warm up in my hand a bit before tasting to really get in on those deep flavors. The beer and the spot really spoke to my inner beer nerd and just nerd lolz.

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KS: This was my favourite spot we visited by a long shot. (We actually visited twice!) THEY SERVE THEIR FLIGHTS IN MUFFIN PANS! Aaron nailed down the vibe in his perfect description. Their El Espinazo Del Diablo Lager was honestly one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. It’s made with lime zest and jalapeño but wasn’t too spicy or off-putting. It was as crisp and refreshing as you would expect from a lager but gives a slight hint of eating slightly spicy bar nuts. I spent the rest of the trip trying to track this down in cans but to no avail. Also, they serve a great brunch. Don’t let the Boring Brunch fool you, it’s great… especially if you add cheese to your eggs!

Like Good Robot on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @goodrobotbrew

2. Two If By Sea

AP: Cheese and cured meat filled croissants and hipster coffee. I couldn’t ask for more. Plus this place was so freakin’ cute and shared the place with Yeah Yeah’s pizza. The smells of baked goods and pizza just made me want to stay there to eat my weight in carbs.

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KS: What does this name even mean? Apparently, the locals (lol) only refer to it as “TIBS” so if someone responds to your query about fun coffee shops near New Scotland and Brightwood, they are saying TIBS and not “Tim’s”... I still picture that prosciutto and provolone croissant.

Like Two If By Sea on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @twoifbyseacafe


3. New Scotland Brewing Co.

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AP: It was brew day when we visited NSBC! So the smell alone had me over the moon. The selection was so diverse but I think we found some really cool gems. So Complicated Champagne IPA and McCoy’s Contraband Tropical Stout on nitro. I’m a sucker for a Champagne IPA so this one came through with the perfect mix of sweet and dry. The tropical stout had me shooketh. Deep malts with a light tropical bitterness and a full mouthfeel from the nitro. Weird but cool af.

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KS: The bartender overheard me say that I didn’t really like stouts. Honestly, I think most of them taste like muddy water. He assured me that the Contraband Tropical Stout on nitro didn’t taste like that, but I beg to differ. I tried it though! I only had a flight here but I think I remember my favourite being the Rampant Lion NEIPA.

Like New Scotland Brewing Co. on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @newscotlandbrewing

4. Brightwood Brewery

AP: This place was all aEsThEtIc ~~vibez~~. I even took a bathroom selfie (hate me too). "Made Me Blush Rosé IPA" Belgian IPA with Hibiscus and Rose Hips was the only highlight for me at this gorgeous spot. The earthy floral notes played so nicely with the Belgian yeast notes.

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KS: Hot take. I thought they all tasted the same. I like Belgian style beers but I’m starting to discover I don’t like my beers to taste boozy. As Aaron mentioned whilst speaking Millennial, the space is lovely and also attached to Lake City Cider, another place to check out. (We didn’t go there as we were just focused on beer).

Like Brightwood Brewery on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @brightwoodbeer

5. Battery Park Beer Bar

Listed as one of the 25 best places to eat by Curated Food & Drink magazine.

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AP: UHM go here. Get the fries and be frivolous with their massive huge gorgeous beer selection. It was here that I fell in love with North Brewing and their adorable style and delicious Malternate Reality. Such haze such balance such juiciness.

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KS: While I was a little sad that the nachos we ordered didn’t come with salsa they were covered in green crema which gave them a garlicky taste. They also had smoked gouda, cheddar, AND queso! Also if I hadn’t been brewery hopping I’d so have had another Que Onda? From Big Spruce Brewing Co. This German Gose was aged in a tequila-barrel and was crisp but had some coriander notes!

Like Battery Park on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @batterybeerbar

6. Alexander Keith’s Brewery

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AP: I mean are they craft????? Idgaf I was here to try all the beers okay so give me a break. Their Bay of Fundy White IPA was absolutely wonderful even when it was warm (we had a six pack that put our luggage over 50 pounds and had to drink some that morning oops). The space is an experience in itself and great for those that want to learn more about beer.

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KS: Yeah, a few of the bartenders at the other breweries we visited sort of scoffed at ol’ Alexander. I don’t know, I have drunk a few Keith’s Light in my day (haven’t in a while though) but was a big fan of the Red Amber Ale and the Fundy White IPA. I’ve recently been getting into more citrusy IPAs but Belgian witbiers will forever be my favourite so this is a really nice mixture of the two styles.

Like Alexander Keith’s on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @alexander_keiths

7. Garrison Brewing Co.

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AP: THEY HAVE A DOG WALL. That got me and their merch was litty. The space was so open and cool. The Juicy Double IPA will always be one of my favs from Garrison. A newcomer is The Sour to the People Dry Hopped Kettle Sour, punched me in the face... It was awesome. 

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KS: I think this was probably the biggest and most open space we visited? I liked how the retail shop, the seating, and the tanks were all out in the open and felt like one large room. I’m a big fan of Garrison’s beers and make a habit of picking them up whenever they make it to the NLC. Can’t wait to try the fondue recipe using their All Lit Up winter seasonal as well as the Error 404 Kolsch we brought home. (I noticed they have something called a Chardonnay Wit listed as one of their taps and I’m so sad that wasn’t introduced to my tastebuds).

Like Garrison on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @garrisonbrewing

8. Yeah Yeah’s Pizza

Listed as one of the 25 best places to eat by Curated Food & Drink magazine.

AP: Carbs and cheese got me all kinds of happy. The people who work there were just so nice and let some kids make forts out of their cardboard boxes. Plus their pizza is worth the hype.

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KS: I’ve been following Yeah Yeah’s on Instagram for a while and knew I had to visit. I, of course, loved their Bart Simpson art and needed my picture taken with it. We had “The White” (minus mushrooms because I CANNOT..) and who’d a thunk lemon on pizza was a topping I didn’t know I was missing?!

Like Yeah Yeahs Pizza on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @yeahyeahspizza

 9. Stone Pizza

AP: You know ya bois had to pull up to the two most popular~~~ pizza places in Dartmouth. The two were just so good so get both. Kk xo ttfn.

 KS: Like Yeah Yeahs, I’ve been following Stone for a while and really wanted to try their Chicken Wing pizza but sadly it’s only a special. The special of the day when we were there was a lasagna pizza which also sounded delicious but they were out of ingredients by the time we ordered. We settled for a classic Margherita but were not disappointed.

Like Stone Pizza on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @stone_pizza

 10. 2 Crows Brewing Co.

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AP: If you a dad jean wearing hipster and want to live your out experimental craft beer dreams, look no further! So many adjuncts and crossover styles and it just worked. I’m a sucker for some brett so the Livewire Brett Saison have me all the horse blanket notes I needed backed by a nice pepper bright saison base. All the sours here are worth the taste (if you’re into lactobacillus and its naughty ways). The barrel-aged series had a gooseberry sour in a sauvignon blanc barrel. It was lit and you need to try it xo.

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KS: These guys make some weird beers but they work! I really enjoyed their Jamboree strawberry guava sour and there’s a can of Fantacity Dry-Hopped Witbier in our fridge for when I’m feeling like a hoppy boy.

Like 2 Crows on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @2crowsbrewing

11. HopYard

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AP: OKAY $8 food menu was on point. PEI Brewing Co. Blood orange IPA paired so nicely with the deep-fried mac and cheese pasta and jalapeno brined fried chicken sandwich.

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KS: You can’t beat that menu. Really glad we got to try that beer too. Also, they have a load of vinyls in this place. If we lived here I could see this being our “after work drinks” spot.

Like HopYard on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram, @hopyardhalifax

12. Propeller Brewing Co.

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AP: The staff. Just so sweet and knowledgeable. The Galaxy IPA was one that I had to take home. I’m kinda all about galaxy hops lately for their impactful tart juiciness and layered tropical flavour which Propeller really brought forward. The Dark Berry Sour, Cascade Pale Ale, Bourbon ESB, and Porter w/Mosaic were all fantastic. Really loved this place.

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KS: The Galaxy IPA and the staff really made this place. They also have a pinball arcade but it wasn’t open when we were there.

Like Propeller on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @propellerbeer

 13. Unfiltered Brewing

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AP: That one IPA was good. Had to go back to Good Robot to regain my self-esteem after this visit.

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KS: Hard pass. They seem to be “too cool” for flights and they just aren’t that nice. I don’t need a bartender to curl up and whisper sweet nothings in my ear while I sip but at least be friendly during the initial transaction? I can’t imagine anyone who goes here unless their kink is to be offended? I fancy myself a Captain Planet Planeteer but even I thought the writing on the wall to “turn the fucking light off” in the bathroom was a bit much. I’d let you be mean to me if the beers were better.

Like Unfiltered on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @unfilteredbrewing

 14. Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse

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AP: I had ribs and I loved em! The White Noize IPA started my love for White IPA’s. I don’t know if this makes sense but I find that some White IPA’s give a similar taste as drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth. The hops and yeast/coriander can sometimes mess with each other. This White Noize manages to dance beautifully in between the refreshing and bittering notes.

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KS: What an interesting place. We have bought a few Upstreet brews at the NLC and I’m a big fan of their Rhuby Social strawberry rhubarb witbier. I had the mac and cheese with pulled BBQ chicken and it was as good as it sounds.

Like Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse on Facebook and follow them on Instagram.

 15. Wired Monk Coffee Bistro

AP: Such a fun quirky spot. Great coffee and a nice place to take a breather in between sights.

KS: I bought a $7 green smoothie because I knew I needed some nutrients between all the pizza and pints.

 Like the Wired Monk on Facebook.

16. Tidehouse Brewing Company

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AP: I was set on not picking up shirts but my love for Tidehouse had me questioning the decision. They didn’t have any in my medium body size so I just had to fall in love with the memory of their nine-seat taproom and incredibly crafted beers. Legit, all of them were fantastic. We tried Sinner & Sailors Saison w/ Azacca & Antanum, Goth Stout American Stout w/Simcoe, Hibiscus City Lime Gose, Bright Lights Citra hopped Pale Ale and Citizen K Kveir Pale Ale. The gose gave me those feels every craft beer lover searches for. It hit every pleasure centre in my brain and left me questioning the complexity in flavours that played so nicely with each other. We stan a complex queen.

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 KS: A place with such little seating forcing you to be that close to strangers makes me anxious. Thankfully the Hibiscus City Lime Gose and the Sinner and Sailors saison made me feel more at ease. I liked everything I tried here and was really impressed. We started following Tidehouse on Instagram shortly before our visit and they are constantly releasing new recipes!

Like Tidehouse on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @tidehousebrewing

17. Stillwell

Listed as one of the 25 best places to eat by Curated Food & Drink magazine.

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AP: This place was stupid cool and I was the goof who had to nerd out over the beer selection while the bartenders awkwardly looked at me. The fried chicken filled me with such joy and then the Korean street fries legit made me wanna cry. They had such a great selection of beers and even featured some great NL breweries a couple weeks after we left.

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KS: I was so happy to have two pints of Hefeweizen before the keg ran out. This is a style of beer I really enjoy but sadly do not get to drink very often as I never see it available. I regret getting the burger I had as I felt it was a bit lacking. Should have gone with the fried chicken. This is definitely a spot I’d visit again though.

Like Stillwell on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @barstillwell

 18. Norbert’s Good Food

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AP: Food that made me feel so good after a week of eating like a Snorlax in a Popeyes. I had the fish cakes with greens and coffee. Not like granmudder’s but still tasty and lovely.

 KS: Needing something other than beer, burgers, and pizza we walked down to the Seaport Farmer’s Market for Norbert’s. I had this really tasty breakfast sandwich with bacon and egg on a croissant. Sadly I didn’t read closely enough that it had mushrooms so I had to mangle the sandwich. I even ate (some of) the greens side salad!

Like Norbert’s on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @norbertsgoodfood

 

19. Rockbottom Brew Pub

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AP: These beers reminded me of OG QVBC. Clean and all over crazy drinkable. They had an interesting 2 oz sampler that let you try all of the beers they were offering. This didn’t result in much of a comprehensive tasting but I didn’t spit anything out that’s for sure.

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KS: This was a nice little spot. I’d go back there to eat but we just came to try the beers. I liked that you got to try all of them for $10 too. I’m not sure any really stood out but it was only the darker brews that I wasn’t there for. I was happy they had a Dunkel. It’s a sort of confusing spot though since it is downstairs from our next stop, and they share some of the same beers but seem to market them as their own?

Like Rockbottom on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @rockbottomprewpub

 20. Your Father’s Moustache

AP: 60 cent wings people!!!! I had so many but we got a quinoa salad to split for health and gut reasons. The in house Apricot Wheat was such a nice light pairing for the awful amount of wings I ate.

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KS: Disclaimer: Wing night is only on Thursdays; Aaron was too excited to specify. Also, they are just breaded wings with a side sauce of your choice. I would have been disappointed if they weren’t so cheap and for that reason I loved it. I was a big fan of the Apricot Wheat as well, and we shared a pint of Ninelocks pale ale. Also, shout-out to our server. She was phenomenal. The place was BLOCKED but she was so attentive. We complimented her and she told us she was feeling under the weather and that she wasn’t providing as good a service as normal. (She must be Wonder Woman on a good night).

Like Your Father’s Moustache on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @yourfathersmoustache

 21. Firkin and Flyer

AP: Firikin brings me back to TO with Em and Lynds eating Bevvy’s and drinking bites (lol yeah that’s how I said it after a few). Had a huge ass breakfast burger here and tater tots. Totts and hash browns are my fav breakfast side so ya knows I was a happy boy.

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KS: I’ve been to a couple of Firkins in Toronto in the era B.A. (before Aaron). It was the Young and Firkin where I had a lemon in my Rickard’s White (guess they ran out of oranges?) after the Justin Timberlake and JAY-Z concert. (I also left my camera there and had to run back to get it…). I had a chicken avocado club on whole wheat here and my body thanked me. No beer either. Mostly because there weren’t many #NSCraftBeer options.

21. Liquid Assets

AP: Love this place. My only problem was that you can’t by single cans and had to commit to a four pack. Still, a four pack of Propeller’s Galaxy IPA made me a hoppy boi.

KS: We need a place like this in our airport. We picked up some Propeller Galaxy IPA and Big Spruce Kitchen Party Pale Ale. Sadly no jalapeno lager from Good Robot, and sadly no singles. Though my credit card might have gotten a way bigger fright if that was an option.

Like Liquid Assets on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, @liquidassetsns


There you have it! Our comprehensive guide to our craft beer vacation to Halifax! Hope you enjoyed, and hope to be back there soon enjoying a pint at many of these establishments!