Often when the thirst strikes a fine young King’s student, it is far too easy to wander down to the basement of A&A and grab a pint at the “best student hang-out.”
Do not mistake me, I love the Wardy. We all love the Wardy: good-priced beer, delightful staff, and comfy couches. It’s hard not to.
However, this November I propose taking a short break from that pint of Irish Red, or Tall Ship served to you by the beautiful Dave Woroner, go out, take a risk, and explore.
There are 11 craft breweries in Halifax alone, so this is the ideal city to start drinking craft beer – if you haven’t already.
Unfortunately, in a city famous for its pubs, a lot of the more established venues of Argyle Street and the like have yet caught on to this trend.
Durty Nelly’s, Cheers, and the wrongly-named Ale House, all serve watered-down, flavourless macro lagers. Even if these bars serve craft, it is most likely to be a toss up between Garrison and Propeller.
Let’s face it, as much as I enjoy the Irish Red at the Wardy, these two breweries do not provide as much excitement and innovation as the younger breweries on the scene.
Nevertheless, I am not writing with a purpose of persuading you to avoid such places, if one wants to explore the Halifax craft beer scene one should, in my humble opinion, go to places that offer craft beer, hopefully good craft beer to boot.
Luckily for you, I have compiled a list of four breweries or bars that I feel not only serve deliciously good brews, but also suit students’ needs as a place to escape campus, a place to relax with friends and a place to momentarily forget about assignments and final exams.
The Henry House, 1222 Barrington Street
There isn’t a cozier place to be in Halifax than in the basement of the Henry House on a cold winter day. Having a pint in this British-style pub is like being hugged by a friendly bear. Warmth and happiness fills your stomach as you down the Granite Extra Special Bitter. Whether you are looking for a cozy and quiet place to read by yourself or to hangout with friends, the Henry House is the place to be.
2 Crows Brewing Co., 1932 Brunswick St.
After opening 10 months ago, 2 Crows has fostered a dedication to quality craft beer. You know you’ll be drinking something unique and tasty if you make the well-worth-it trek over. If you are lucky, your visit will be on a brew day, you’ll walk in to the warm aroma of fomenting malt, to a small tap room adjacent to a large brewery. This brewery is the place to go for those who wish to formalize themselves with the brewing process.
Committed to educating their consumers, 2 Crows encourages people to walk-in, take a tour, and talk to head brewer Jeremy Taylor. They encourage those who work for them to brew small batches of their own. They see themselves as leaders on the frontiers of the craft industry, dedicated to making quality and unique brews. Try the Pollyanna Wild Yeast New England IPA or the Oat Pilsner.
Stillwell Beer Bar, 1672 Barrington Street
If you are new to the Nova Scotian craft beer scene the first stop you should make is at Stillwell. With 12 taps showcasing the best Nova Scotia, and sometimes the best the country has to offer, it is rare to have a bad pint there.
On a winter’s eve, take a visit to what is, in my humble opinion, the coolest bar downtown Halifax. Fantastic music, good food and there isn’t a more friendly and patient staff in Halifax.
If it is your first time at Stillwell go to the bar, sit down, and ask the bartender for a suggestion. They are as friendly as they are knowledgeable.
Unfiltered Brewing, 6041 North Street
Tucked away in an unattractively small plaza on North Street, Unfiltered is the place to be for IPA nerds. If you like hoppy beers you’ll like Unfiltered. If you don’t like hoppy beers that is because you have yet gone to Unfiltered. Unfiltered is not just the brewery name, it is embodied in a place where it is free to speak candidly. Exile on North Street is, hand to God, one of the best fucking IPAs I have ever enjoyed.
You drank enough shitty beers in high school, you go to King’s, and now it’s time to drink the good stuff. Halifax has plenty of it. Instead of going to the Wardy this Friday, I implore you to go out and enjoy some beautiful brews in this beautiful town.