Travel to Halifax, the capital city of Nova Scotia, Canada. The city is a place where the rich maritime heritage intertwines beautifully with a thriving craft beer culture. Whether you came to see Shaina Twain in a concert or other fun events, the port city has a lot to offer. And despite the steady inflation over the past few years, flights from Ottawa and Montreal to Halifax are still relatively cheap. As you stroll through the charming streets of this coastal city, you’ll find that the love for beer runs deep in its veins, influenced by a naval legacy and the significant impact of the iconic Keith Brewery.
The beer history in Halifax can be traced back to the 19th century when Alexander Keith, a Scottish immigrant, established the Keith Brewery in 1820. Known for his masterful brewing skills and dedication to quality, Keith’s beer quickly gained popularity among sailors and locals alike. Halifax’s connection with the sea played a pivotal role in the beer’s distribution, as the navy ships frequently carried barrels of Keith’s ale to various ports across the world, making it known beyond the city’s boundaries.
Today, the spirit of brewing innovation and passion for craft beer still thrives in Halifax, with a burgeoning craft beer scene that attracts enthusiasts from near and far. Join us as we take you on a journey through Halifax’s Hoppy History, discovering five delightful activities for craft beer amateurs.
Top Five Activities for Craft Beer Enthusiasts
1. Alexander Keith’s Brewery Museum: If you’ve got a thirst for beer history, the Alexander Keith’s Brewery Tour is an absolute must-visit! Step into the immersive world of this iconic brewery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and get ready for a journey back in time. Step back in time as you explore the historic brewery, which has been beautifully preserved and transformed into an interactive museum. Learn about the brewing techniques of the past, hear fascinating stories about Alexander Keith’s life, and, of course, savor some of their iconic brews straight from the tap. The site is genuinely impressive. Large parts of the historical landmark are accessible and well preserved. The tour itself is well designed, with plenty of Hoppy surprises along the way to keep things interesting. It is no surprise that the tour itself received an award : the whole operation runs as smoothly as as juicy, freshly brewed citrusy IPA. I recommend, however, that you book first online as the tour is highly sought after during the summer and space is limited. Visit the website just to be sure 🙂
2. Garrison Brewing Company: Garrison Brewery stands tall, proudly embracing its deep connection with the sea and its rich brewing heritage. The giant brewery is located right in front of Pier 21, towards the eastern end of the port. My recommendation, enter through the south after a nice walk by the Point Pleasant Park and enjoy the copious view on the sea to earn yourself a generous sampler of Garrison’s finest brews.
Nestled by the sparkling waters of Halifax Harbor, Garrison Brewery exudes a captivating maritime charm that sets it apart from the rest. The old warehouse has all of its 18th century charm with just enough glimmering brewing equipment to keep things interesting. With its location steeped in seafaring history, the brewery seamlessly blends the love for craft beer with the spirit of the ocean. In many ways, Garrison Brewing is a hoppy representation of the whole city of Halifax : lively, citrusy and always up to something.
Their brewmasters have ingeniously concocted sea-inspired ales that evoke the essence of maritime life. From the refreshing and zesty Tall Ship Amber Ale to the bold and briny Halifax Harbor Sea Salted Caramel Ale, every sip will transport you to the rugged coastline and the salty breeze of the Atlantic. Honestly, it is worth visiting just to see what new maritime name they came up with.
3. Beer Tasting Tours: Embark on a guided beer tasting tour, which will take you to some of the best craft breweries in Halifax. A knowledgeable guide will lead you through a selection of unique and flavorful beers, providing insights into the brewing process and the stories behind each brew. This tour is an excellent way to sample a diverse range of locally-made craft beers while learning about the city’s vibrant beer culture.
- Nova Scotia Wine & Cheese Sunset Tour Wait: This is not a beer tour! I know, I known. But hear me out. This sunset row in the sea is worth every penny. This two hours sailing trip around Halifax brings you to the best spots all while enjoying delicious local wines under the sunset. You also get to learn about the wonders of Annapolis valley and the wine culture in the region.
- Halifax Pedal Pub Crawl : That’s right, a mobile pub crawl just for you and your friends. Experience the breathtaking waterfront views of Halifax as you indulge in a variety of local restaurants during this city pub crawl tour. Travel between stops on a one-of-a-kind pedal bus, powered by solar energy, for an active and enjoyable open-air adventure. While food and drink are not part of the package, each stop will greet you with fantastic discounts.
- Valley Wine Tour : If you want to treat yourself to a unique travel & wine adventure, a tour of the Valley might just be the perfect way to end your tour of Halifax. This tour kicks off with the renowned Domaine de Grand Pre Winery, where you’ll embark on a sensory delight like no other. Savor the distinct flavors of their handcrafted offerings, as each sip transports you to a realm of refined taste.
4. The “BG” Halifax boasts an incredible spot that’s perfect for beer enthusiasts and joy-seeking travelers alike. Nestled strategically along the city’s beautiful waterfront, the Beer Garden offers a delightful blend of scenic beauty and a vibrant atmosphere. Picture this: savoring the height of summer on their epic patio, soaking in the breathtaking view of the bay while relishing the finest local craft brews. While Alexander Keith may have a notable presence on the menu, fear not, as There is quite a bit of diversity on the menu! The BG takes pride in offering a diverse selection of local craft beers from renowned breweries like Propeller Brewing, Breton Brewing, Burnside, and Garrison Brewing. Visiting the “BG” is like embarking on a delightful beer adventure, where you can experience the best of Nova Scotia’s top-tier breweries all in one go. Oh, and a quick tip: if you’re planning on taking a jetski tour, why not hop on board before indulging in the BG’s beer extravaganza? Cheers to unforgettable moments and fantastic brews! For those fans of history AND beer among you, there is a private kayak tour right next to the BG that takes you around George Island.
5. Beer Events and Festivals: Keep an eye on the local beer events calendar, as Halifax hosts various beer festivals and gatherings throughout the year. From large-scale craft beer festivals featuring regional breweries to intimate gatherings with specialized themes, these events offer a fantastic opportunity to taste a wide array of craft beers while mingling with fellow beer enthusiasts. Check out the Halifax Seaport Cider & Beerfest in August 10-12 for a taste of Halifax’s best and hoppiest brews!
Also of interest
Fireworks in Halifax: A Spectacular Display of Colors and Lights
Canada Day Fireworks: If you’re visiting Halifax during early July, make sure to witness the breathtaking Canada Day fireworks celebration. The city comes alive with festive spirit, and the sky dazzles with an awe-inspiring display of colors and lights. The Halifax waterfront is a popular spot to enjoy the fireworks, where you can join locals and fellow travelers in celebrating Canada’s national day.
Halifax International Fireworks Festival: Held annually, the Halifax International Fireworks Festival is a grand event that attracts pyrotechnic teams from around the world. This multi-day festival features mesmerizing firework displays set to music, creating a harmonious symphony of lights. The event takes place at the scenic Dartmouth waterfront, offering a perfect backdrop for the captivating fireworks.
Cruise the Halifax Harbour and Savor Local Delights aboard Harbour Queen! Embark on an unforgettable journey through Halifax’s picturesque landscapes while relishing in a delectable three-course menu sourced from local delights. Hop aboard the Harbour Queen and navigate through the tranquil waters of Halifax Harbour and the scenic Northwest Arm. Be mesmerized by the captivating sights of iconic landmarks such as the Halifax waterfront, Georges Island, and the majestic Dingle Tower.
Halifax’s beer scene is a dynamic blend of history, culture, and innovation. From exploring the legacy of Alexander Keith to savoring the creations of modern craft breweries, this city has something to offer every beer amateur. So, raise your glass, embrace the Hoppy History of Halifax, and let the flavors of craft beer captivate your senses!