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.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Halifax - Day 2: Off to Propeller

Andrew Cooper is one of the many born and raised Ontarians who have moved to the East Coast for change of scenery, and is he ever glad he decided to settle in Halifax. Since moving over from Cobourg 4 or so years ago Cooper has climbed the ladder at Propeller, and is now settling into his current position in sales. He started off driving the delivery van, hauling and swinging kegs around town. Then he moved into the retail store and helped out in the brewhouse, essentially doing every job that the brewery needed to be done. Hard work and patience paid off and now he covers the whole Halifax region for Propeller, selling their product to the many fine pubs and bars in the downtown core.

I met Cooper only once when I was living in Halifax, but we frequently email each other when they release a new beer or if there is something new in the works at the brewery. When we made the decision to head to Halifax I contacted Cooper to see if we could get into Propeller for some sampling. Which brings me to Saturday afternoon.

We all woke up with sore heads on Saturday morning, but a greasy breakfast still called our names. After getting some food in us, we headed up the hill to Halifax's oldest craft brewery, Propeller, for a meet and greet with Cooper, and to sample their new Hefeweizen. We arrived right at 12 noon and took our seats in the event room, where tall glasses of the wheat beer was waiting for us. Cooper let it be known that we were in for a good afternoon, offering to pour us samples of all their product and give us a tour of the recently expanded brewery.

As mentioned, we started of with the new seasonal Hefeweizen, which was excellent. Milkshake appearance with a large fluffy meringue like head, with a lot of clove and banana notes on the nose. Clove, bubblegum, and lemony wheat tartness on the tongue, along with a bready yeast profile, nicely carbonated and thirst quenching. The beer weighs in at 5.3% and is available in bottles at select private liquor stores and at the brewery's retail store.

We moved on and sampled the Extra Special Bitter (coming to Ontario soon!), Pilsener (which is now brewed and bottled year round), Honey Wheat (which is back in rotation, slightly altered), London Porter (one of Canada's best), Pale Ale, and their IPA, my personal favourite. We sat and chatted for hours, sampling the whole time. We did go for that brewery tour, with sample glasses, and it was neat seeing the differences between Garrison's brewhouse and Propeller's.

Once the clock hit 5pm, we knew it was time for some food, so Wooden Monkey it was. The Monkey is an all local restaurant with all local beers on tap, plus a gluten free beer called Glutaner that caught my fiancee's attention. It was at the Wooden Monkey that a good source (terrific one actually) informed us that Keith's White is not a white beer, in the Belgian sense. So there you have it.

From here we went to the Lower Deck to catch some local bands. The Lower Deck is probably the most well-known pub in all of Canada. Going to Halifax? Head to the Deck. After drinking a bunch of IPA for two straight days, the Bud Light never went down so easy. But it has its limits. So back out onto the streets and off to the Seahorse Tavern where Cooper was waiting with VIP tickets to see a CD launch concert put on by The Divorcees, a well known hardcore Country group. There was Propeller IPA on draught, so we lubricated ourselves in the hop goodness for hours.

And to end the night, we headed to Maxwell's Plum again because we wanted to get some Pump House brews, and an 80oz dispenser of Special Old Bitter (SOB) was dropped on our table.

Day three to come - RockBottom Brewery (??).


GenX at 40 said...

You just retraced 38% of my Halifax bar crawls circa 1981-1991.

malcolm said...

Sounds like an awesome vacation! Can't wait to see the Propellor up here.

Troy Burtch said...

It was an awesome vacation, too short though.

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