The Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference (CBAC) are in Halifax May 24-26, which means our normally beer-filled city will offer even more opportunities to taste something new.

The conference kicked off on Thursday with a brewers’ reception. Friday features panels highlighting industry issues and trends like hop processing, bottle and can conditioning, and a presentation on how cannabis beverages can change the brewing industry.

Full tickets with access to the panels are sadly sold out, but watch for an interview in the July Halifax Magazine with presenter Dooma Wendschuh, co-founder and CEO of Province, a Toronto-based company with patent pending on the world’s first beers actually brewed using cannabis. If you’re quick you can still snag an Expo pass that grants access to the trade show floor with over 90 exhibitors for $120.

Saturday night is the big awards showdown. Many Halifax and Nova Scotia breweries have thrown their hats in the ring, but only once the awards are handed out will we know who’s taking home hardware. Last year, Nova Scotia breweries were well rewarded:

  • Boxing Rock Brewing Company–gold–Traditional German Style category for Stayin’ Alive
  • Uncle Leo’s Brewery–gold–Wheat Beer–German Style (Weiss) category for Vohs Weizenbier
  • North Brewing Co.–gold–Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale category for Gus’ 65m Ale, and gold–Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer for Midnight- Glenora Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian
  • Propeller Brewing Company–bronze–Porter category for Porter
  • Granite Brewery–silver–Dry Stout category for Keefe’s Irish Stout

Sold out tickets aside, there are still plenty of ways for Halifax craft-beer lovers to get in on the CBAC action this weekend.

If you want to catch the Battery Park Coast to Coast Collaboration Party, stop reading and get thee to Dartmouth. Until 6 p.m. tonight you’ll find an impressive roster of colabs from North Brewing Company featuring . , plus Escarpment Labs from Guelph, Ont. will takeover the remaining taps with beers made using its yeast including Tatamagouche Brewing, Roof Hound Brewing, and Big Spruce, to name but a handful.

Stillwell on Barrington Street and the Stillwell Beer Garden on Spring Garden Road are hosting Grand National, a CBA-adjacent beer festival. This is a run-don’t-walk chance to try beers from 30-some breweries, many of which have never been poured on our shores, including brews from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. Plus special releases from local favourites including North Brewing Co. and 2 Crows Brewing Co. Keep a close eye on Stillwell’s Facebook page for details on what’s tapped at which location and when.

You’ll also find 2 Crows four releases on tap and in cans at the brewery’s tap room, and North Brewing’s whopping five new releases in cans and bottle at both the Agricola Street brewery and Battery Park in Dartmouth today.

Find the Wild Gruit Collaboration Ale from Propeller Brewing and Beau’s Brewing Co. on tap all weekend at the Propeller Tasting Room on Gottingen Street. It’s brewed with organic, hand-picked bog myrtle, Halifax-foraged staghorn sumac, and Escarpment Scotia Sauvage yeast (originally harvested from a pin cherry tree at Big Spruce Brewing in Cape Breton). In a blog post, Beau’s says to expect “a sweet aroma, balanced bitterness, and herbal, spicy notes with the staghorn sumac adding a red fruit and citrus complexity.”

Shelburne, N.S. brewery Boxing Rock Brewing hosts a tap takeover at World Tea House on Argyle Street from 6 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Four oz. pours are $2 each and taps will rotate all weekend. Thank NSLC’s archaic rules for the fact that you can buy three 4-oz. tasters, but not a 12-oz. glass.

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