Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Propeller Brewery: Halifax, NS

When John Allen opened the doors to his Propeller Brewery back in 1997, he opened the door for change in a beer market dominated by the popular Alexander Keith's IPA.

Allen, a self proclaimed, dedicated homebrewer, wanted to take his passion to new heights by offering Nova Scotia residents an alternate choice. He started brewing Extra Special Bitter and Pale Ale and expanded his repertoire with a Honey Wheat and London Porter years later. The pure all natural ingredients created a beer that citizens came to adore and soon Propeller became a reputable brewery for excellent ales.

Due to the success of his flagship Extra Special Bitter, Allen started brewing seasonal ales like Pumpkin and Christmas ales. Just this past winter, Propeller introduced a terrific Revolution Imperial Russian Stout. At 8%, this stout was brewed to the traditional imperial standards and it sold out fast.

But the most successful one-off was Propeller's India Pale Ale that has since evolved into a year round beer. Compared to Keith's, which tastes more like a lager, Propeller's IPA is a hop bomb. India Pale Ales were brewed with extra hops to withstand the long sea voyages to serve the British troops stationed in India in the 1700's (hops are used as a preservative). Allen's IPA is as he describes it, "not for the faint of heart". The beer is dry hopped for up to a week which creates a wonderful flowery aroma.

The London Porter is a very popular beer in Halifax. It's based on a 200 year old recipe that includes a blend of pale, roasted and chocolate malts with English and North America hops. The ESB is a terrific ale made with pale malt, chocolate malt and crystal malts that pairs well with the williamette and fuggle hops giving it a 30 bitterness unit value.

Throughout the years, Propeller has won many awards at various beer festivals and championships throughout the world. Their IPA and ESB both won gold medals at the 2006 and 2007 World Beer Championships in Chicago. The London Porter picked up a gold medal at the 2005 Canadian Brewing awards and bronze in 2006. It also won silver medals at the World Beer Championships in 2002 and 2003. Propeller's Pale Ale picked up a silver at the 2006 Canadian Brewing Awards. Along with the beer awards, the brewery has won many times in newspaper polls for the best microbrewery in Halifax and Nova Scotia.

The Propeller Brewery is located in the North end of Halifax at 2011 Gottingen street. Tours can be arranged at the brewery for groups of 10 or more and staff will explain the history of the brewery, the beer and offer samples. Propeller also has a retail store where they sell t-shirts, hats, glassware and beer. Growlers can be purchased as well and make a great birthday gift.

It is a fantastic brewery brewing terrific beer that I only wish was available in Ontario. Highly recommended should you visit the East Coast.

2011 Gottingen Street
Halifax, NS
(902) 422-7767
Owner: John Allen
Sales: Rob Poirier


J.B said...

I tried Propeller's beers when I was on vacation in Halifax last summer. I thought they were delicious, the Extra Special Bitter was my favourite. Sweet bitter. Nice write up.

Frank said...

The Propeller Porter was my favorite beer until the NLC here in Newfoundland decided to discontinue it(idiots). The bitter was very good as well. Also discontinued. A friend brought me home two bottles of the Imperial Stout. Very good!
I enjoy your blog Troy. Keep it up.

Frank McDonald

Troy Burtch said...

Thanks for the nice words Frank. It makes writing the blog all the better when I know people are enjoying it. Propeller brews some of my favourite beers and I've tried thousands. Their IPA is something I wish Ontario would be smart enough to bring over to the LCBO. All over terrific brewery.

Thanks for reading. Cheers

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