The first Halifax craft beer bus made its inaugural run this past weekend. The five-stop Halifax brewery tour is organized by Taste Halifax, who offer local food, beer and wine tours throughout the city and beyond. Susan, the owner, also runs Grape Escapes (which I’ve talked about here and a number of other times on the blog – they are excellent tours).
So when Susan offered me a ticket to try her newest tour, I said yes (then bought a second ticket for Drew to come along).
Stop #1: Gahan House
Despite our extensive travels to craft breweries, this was our first time trying a guided multi-brewery tour. We met our group and guide at Gahan House, a PEI brewery that opened a Halifax brewpub location last year. In addition to keeping the full PEI Brewing Company line-up on tap, Gahan Halifax brews a few of their own beer on-site. This stop started with fish and chips served with two sample sized beers (Espresso Stout and a DIPA on our visit).
Back on the bus, Susan gave us an overview of the history of craft beer in Nova Scotia and then a quick intro to stop #2…
Stop #2: Garrison Brewery
Garrison opened in 1997 and is one of the longer-running craft breweries in the province (the longest running example of craft beer in Nova Scotia is Granite, which started as a brew pub in 1985). The Garrison stop started with a tour of the brewery filled with some fun facts, both about the brewery and the history of craft beer. The tour was followed by two samples, Garrison Red, the brewery’s flagship beer, and an IPA.
Stop #3: Propeller
Stop three took us to Propeller Brewery, the top-selling brewery in the province. The Propeller tasting room is a popular place for fundraisers, tours, and parties, so like many Haligonians I’ve visited the space a number of times. This was just a quick stop – long enough to taste two samples, the sessionable organic ale and the extra special bitter, and jump back on the bus.
Stop #4: Good Robot
Stop four took us to Good Robot, one of Nova Scotia’s newer breweries, and the “most questionable” brewery in Halifax (their words – but their line-up makes me agree). We’d been hearing nothing but good things about their new tap room, and it exceeded even those high expectations. There were some really unique beers in the line up, including a corn beer and a beer brewed using wild yeast (definitely recommend). It’s the only stop where we opted to purchase an extra sample. We would have loved to end the tour here, have another beer, and dig into the food menu, but there was one more stop…
Stop #5: Stubborn Goat
The Stubborn Goat is not a craft brewery or craft brewpub, so we were a little confused when we saw it in the line-up. But this gastropub is home to a range of local breweries and is where you’ll get to taste some NS beer from outside the city. We tried Unobtanium, brewed by Boxing Rock Brewery in Shelburne. It was our favourite taste of the night. They also served us pizza here, which was a really nice finish.
The Taste Halifax Craft Beer Bus will run select dates for now (March 19, April 2, 16 & 30), then run every Saturday from May until October. The $59.00 ticket price gets you two samples per stop, and two food pairings, both delicious and well portioned. The tour takes 3 hours, and includes quite a bit of information about craft beer, the local craft beer scene, some general facts and tips about the city, and would be appropriate for locals as well as tourists.
As mentioned above, Taste Halifax gave me a complimentary ticket for the Halifax Beer Bus. I purchased a ticket for Drew to join me!
March 19, 2016
April 2, 16 & 30 2016
Every Saturday May – October