Nova Scotia

Discuss beer travel and regional information, including the best bars and places to check out around in Canada and around the world.

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rejtable
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Postby rejtable » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:48 pm

My only issue with Maxwell's has long been I can't see how they keep all those 60 taps fresh. I've had some pretty ugly beers there in the distant past, not sure if it's any better now.

Spent plenty of nights there over the years though, and I guess I do tend to overlook it when I head back. Should check it out again.
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Derek
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Postby Derek » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:31 pm

Good to hear Maxwell's is decent... I was concerned that freshness could be an issue... though there should be more turnover in the summer months.
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Postby Tapsucker » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:32 pm

Derek wrote:Good to hear Maxwell's is decent... I was concerned that freshness could be an issue... though there should be more turnover in the summer months.


With 60 to go through, I focused on the seasonals and what's new, so I probably dodged the stale bullet. I could see how upkeep might be a challenge, but the turnover looked decent. Do they clean their lines well? That I can't say.
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midlife crisis
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Postby midlife crisis » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:21 pm

Has anyone been to Halifax recently? What are the best new craft pubs? Presume Stillwater and Stubborn Goat. Any comments on those and anything else new? Where is Greg Nash these days?
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Postby TheSevenDuffs » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:24 pm

midlife crisis wrote:Has anyone been to Halifax recently? What are the best new craft pubs? Presume Stillwater and Stubborn Goat. Any comments on those and anything else new? Where is Greg Nash these days?
The place to go is Stillwell. http://www.barstillwell.com/

When I was there last year, I went to Stillwell 3 times. Also went to Rock Bottom once (decent enough brewpub).
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Derek
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Postby Derek » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:02 pm

I had a great time there a few years ago... Though Nash was brewing at 2 places back then. He's opening Unfiltered in the spring...

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1 ... rewery-pub

I liked the Granite there as well, though the Toronto pub was my local for a few years, so it was probably a little nostalgia...
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Postby distr0 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:22 am

Rock Bottom was great when I was there. Food and drink were both impressive
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Postby midlife crisis » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:09 am

I gather, from article Derek posted above (thanks!), that Greg Nash has now left though.
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Derek
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Postby Derek » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:45 am

Yeah, Nash left just before Christmas. They just put his Wreckoning RIS on though... that alone is worth making the stop!
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Postby rejtable » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:43 pm

I lived there for 10 years and loved it! Just got back from a week there.

Stillwell is the place to be, period. Easily one of the coolest places to drink beer in Canada. Beers were a bit uneven, but some dandies. Helped that I arrived just a few days after the Trou du diable tap takever, so there were lots of TDD taps kicking around. Food is small portion, but really great. Staff were great. I was there 4 nights in a row!

I personally have never enjoyed Rockbottom, with or without Nash. To each their own.

Tom's has really stepped up their beer game, and while they still annoyingly have some macro taps, they now run a handful of locals. They get the most Bad Apple taps around by the looks of it. And for all "cool kids" vibe of Stillwell, Tom's is equally good at the laid back pub vibe. Food was great both times I ate there.

The new Gahan house (former Heart and Thistle) was very subpar. Had a couple of less than mediocre beer and food wasn't good. They spruced it up a bit from the H&T days (mostly a coat of pain and some new furninture), but it felt less like the cafeteria of it's origins.

Stubborn Goat is cool, but more along the lines of a Wellington Gastro pub. More food than beer.

I didn't get to Rogue's Roost this time. Been bought by Gahan and I think they've lost most of their brewing staff since. Given the less than stellar time I had at Gahan, was too easy to stop into their building neighbor (Tom's) than into RR.

Didn't make it out to the new Premier bottle store (Rockhead). Locals tell me they seem to be moving out of the import beers, concentrating more on locals. I did stop in at Bishop's Celler. Small selection, as always, but some nice locals to pick through.
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Postby midlife crisis » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:20 am

Great, comprehensive review. Thanks. I love Tom's and have previously always made a point to stop there for a pint of Garrison IIPA (which they've always served in pints, just like any other beer on the bar, despite its potent drinkability). Great to hear they have other worthwhile options now too.
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Postby Derek » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:16 am

midlife crisis
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Postby midlife crisis » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:43 am

Seems angry. :)
rejtable
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Postby rejtable » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:25 pm

midlife crisis wrote:Great, comprehensive review. Thanks. I love Tom's and have previously always made a point to stop there for a pint of Garrison IIPA (which they've always served in pints, just like any other beer on the bar, despite its potent drinkability). Great to hear they have other worthwhile options now too.
I had an IIPA last week for old time's sake, but for the life of me I can't remember the size. Since they upped the % the last few years, it's even more potent.

Yeah, Tom's was always great in that it was one of the few places around town that actually got the IIPA on tap. But that used to pretty much be it. When I was there, I had beers from Propeller, Bad Apple, Granite, Garrison and maybe a Boxing Rock.
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Postby midlife crisis » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:01 am

rejtable wrote:
midlife crisis wrote:Great, comprehensive review. Thanks. I love Tom's and have previously always made a point to stop there for a pint of Garrison IIPA (which they've always served in pints, just like any other beer on the bar, despite its potent drinkability). Great to hear they have other worthwhile options now too.
I had an IIPA last week for old time's sake, but for the life of me I can't remember the size. Since they upped the % the last few years, it's even more potent.

Yeah, Tom's was always great in that it was one of the few places around town that actually got the IIPA on tap. But that used to pretty much be it. When I was there, I had beers from Propeller, Bad Apple, Granite, Garrison and maybe a Boxing Rock.


Had a great couple of days in Halifax. Went to Stubborn Goat twice, with brief stops also at Stillwell and Tom's. Some very good things happening at all three. Stillwell has more Quebec taps and three cask engines, both of which probably make it the "go to" place for discerning locals. But Stubborn Goat has the wider selection of Nova Scotia craft beers -- I counted 15 taps of NS craft (and only a couple were the widely available Propeller and Garrison offerings). The two establishments also have very different vibes. I was looking for a place with a couple of nice TV screens to watch some sports, etc. At the end of the day, both are great.

Tom's has really upped their game (from a craft beer viewpoint) too, while otherwise remaining an intimate and friendly space where everyone seems to know one and other. They had four well-chosen craft taps to go with the ubiquitous Keith's, which were Bad Apple APA, Boxing Rock Unobtanium, Uncle Leo's IPA and North Milk Stout. Might have been one of the Garrison or Propeller standards in there too, not sure. No Garrison IIPA on my visit, though.

Just in general, my impression was that good solid craft options have become much more widely available, at least in central Halifax. Heck, I had a lovely North Saison in the rather stodgy bar of the Lord Nelson hotel! A very pleasant surprise.

Some solid NS beers I really enjoyed were Boxing Rock Unobtanium on cask, Boxing Rock Hunky Dory APA, Bad Apple APA, Big Spruce Tim's Dirty American IPA and the North Brewing Belgian-inspired saison and milk stout.

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