With the Halifax Seaport Beerfest happening this weekend, we wanted to give attendees (and those on the fence whether to attend) some more details on the fest.
This year’s most exciting element is the Cask Beer Pavillion, being run by Stillwell Beer Bar and the Ladies Beer League. We reached out to Christopher Reynolds from Stillwell for more details on this endeavour. “We put a call out to the breweries that are a) Producing casks at all, b) Producing relatively good/stable casks, and finally c) Breweries we thought might participate. The format will be similar to Stillwell, in that we will aim for the best mix of FIVE casks at any given time, and we’ll be tapping new ones as casks run out. There are three casks from some producers (Garrison, Big Spruce), but only ONE cask from some (Hell Bay), so we’re not sure which session will get what — which is part of the fun, we think.” You can see Christopher and Beerfest co-founder Brian Titus chat casks in this clip from Global Morning News.
From Christopher and the brewers, we were able to secure a partial list of the fifteen-plus casks being poured:
Big Spruce Brewing: Pump Le Mousse (a new beer, a Grapefruit Wheat), Tip of the Spear IPA (a Black Spruce tip IPA), and All Night Kitchen Party (a dry-hopped version of their Kitchen Party Pale Ale)
Boxing Rock: Hunky Dory Pale Ale, Temptation Red, and The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA
Garrison Brewing: Honey Lavender (also to be released soon in bottles at the brewery and private stores) will be available at all sessions
Granite Brewery: Peculiar and Best Bitter Special
Hell Bay Brewing, Meander River Farm and Brewery, PEI Brewing, and Propeller Brewing are also sending casks, but we were unable to find out which beers.
So, what about the rest of the beer offerings?
Folks will also be able to enjoy beer from handful of other breweries from the Maritimes, including:
Garrison: Tall Ship Amber, Irish Red Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Raspberry Wheat Ale, Hopyard Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Imperial IPA, and NiT WiT Belgian Wheat
Hell Bay (Saturday sessions only): India Brown Ale and English Ale
Meander River Farm and Brewery: Lunchbox Pale Ale and Honey Brown Ale (a new beer from them)
PEI Brewing: Sir John A Honey Wheat, Island Red Amber, Beach Chair Lager, and Blueberry Ale
Picaroons: Best Bitter, Melonhead Watermelon Wheat, Blonde, Yippee IPA, and a cask of Best Bitter
Pumphouse Brewery: 1516 Premium Lager, Blueberry Ale, Cadian Ale, I.P.A., Premium Pilsner, 4 Alarm IPA, and Fire Chief Red
Rare Bird Brewing: Maple Ale, Pale Ale, Full Steam Stout, and Pumpkin Ale
Rockbottom Brewpub: Fathom IPA, Deadwood Wheat, Big Water Brown, Balticus, and Jacktar Stout
Tatamagouche Brewing (Saturday sessions only): Hippie Dippie Ale and Butcher’s Block Red
Unfortunately, many of our other favourite Maritime breweries will not be taking part (beyond the Cask Pavillion or at all). Those we reached for comment mentioned being already pushed beyond capacity with regular business, and were unable to dedicate product to be given away without being reimbursed.
There’s beer from other parts of the world, though, to keep you satisfied! The Gluten-free options have expanded again this year, with the famed IPA (and also tasty American Pale Ale) from Glutenberg being poured, along with their regular offerings available in the NSLC. There are plenty of ciders, including the Bulwark Original and Blush, and Stutz Cider and Shipbuilders Cider (Saturday only), and several from Ireland. Speaking of Ireland, there will a be a strong showing from that country, with over 30 beers and ciders being poured by Irish breweries. There will also be a strong Quebec, Ontario, and Maine component again this year. Check the list on the Fest site for the full details, use this Map to plan your attack.
There are a few VIP tickets available for the Saturday afternoon session as well. These will allow you a special tasting glass and bottle opener, and to take part in a guided tasting and chat with some special guests, Nicholas Pashley (author of Notes on a Beermat: Drinking and Why it’s Necessary and Cheers: An Intemperate History of Beer in Canada), Stephen Clinch (co-founder and co-owner of Trouble Brewing), and Craig Pinhey (local wine, beer and spirits writer).
Finally, in addition to staying hydrated, you’ve got to keep your belly full, right? Three vendors will be onsite to keep you satisfied, with lots of options, all for under $5.
The Waterfront Warehouse will be bringing:
Fish & Chips
Duo of Oysters (gluten-free)
Bramoso Gourmet Pizza will have several different pizzas to choose from:
Mediterranean – olive oil glaze, fresh garlic, diced tomatoes, marinated artichokes, fresh baby spinach, mozzarella and Holmstead Farm’s feta & oregano sprinkle (gluten-free option available)
Stromboli’s BBQ Chicken – olive oil glaze, diced red onions, chipotle BBQ chicken breast, smoked bacon, Riverview Herbs cilantro with 3 cheese blend
Brawny Bramoso – signature tomato sauce, local pepperoni, smoked bacon, cremini mushrooms, diced red onions, green & red peppers and 3 cheese blend
Three Cheese – signature red sauce , cheddar/mozza and provolone blend and sprinkled with oregano (gluten-free option available)
Pepperoni – signature red sauce topped with mozza/cheddar and provolone blend and loaded with tasty local pepperoni
The Stubborn Goat have a couple of special items to share as well:
Smoked Chicken Taco – with Pico de Gallo, avocado cream, shredded lettuce and crunchy poblanos
Pulled Pork Sloppy Joe – with aged cheddar and house made pickle
Beerfest co-founder Bruce Mansour and chef Tyler Smith of The Stubborn Goat also appeared on the Global Morning News to chat beer and food.
The weather for the weekend doesn’t look too fantastic, but fear not, the festival is indoors, at the Cunard Centre at Pier 23.
Tickets are available for a few more hours at NSLCs across the city until the end of today, and online. Any tickets left over will also be available at the Cunard Centre box office beginning at noon Friday, but we wouldn’t suggest waiting that long to snag some. Tickets for designated drivers and group tickets are also available.
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