The city’s largest annual beer event is over for another year. About half of the beers at this year’s Halifax Seaport BeerFest are out-of-town brews that we may never see again, but that still leaves a huge selection of locally-available highlights. Here are my favourites.
Ramble (wild table witbier)
2 Crows Brewing Co.
Brewer Jeremy Taylor is first to admit that “wild table witbier” is not a thing, but in a summer of sours and low ABV sippers, Taylor is having a blast, and so should we. This most sessionable beer comes in at 9 IBU, so you should expect to notice more witbier characteristics like banana and clove from the yeasts. It features added orange peel and coriander. A secondary fermentation with Champagne yeast in the keg and in the can gives it a tight and lively carbonation. Get it at the brewery now.
Sourwood brings a new depth to the local cider scene that folks who dig funky, yeasty beers will enjoy. This one is hazy and juicy with a kick of citrus flavour. It’s tightly carbonated for a zingy moth feel and finishes with a mellow yeasty funk. Find it on tap at Chain Yard Urban Cidery on Agricola Street and Stillwell on Barrington Street.
Lemon Drop (kettle sour)
Garrison Brewing Co.
If you’re still game to try a new sour after the abundance we’ve seen this summer, this one features massive additions of Lemon Drop hops for a big burst of yellow citrus. It’s tart, but not mouth-puckeringly sour, so try it on your friends who are still resisting the summer of kettle sours. Available on tap and in cans around the city.
Wild Blueberry Cider
From the makers of ShipBuilders and Stutz cider in Windsor, N.S., this flavoured cider brings a mass of fresh blueberry flavours. When blended with the Annapolis Valley apples, these two strong flavours give an interesting wine-like taste. Find it in cans at NSLC.
A Place to Stand (Ontario pilsner)
Sawdust City Brewing Co.
This recipe was originally a collaboration with Great Lakes Brewery and The Griffin Gastropub in celebration of Canada and Ontario. It uses all Ontario ingredients to create a light, straight-forward, crushable lager with a hint of bitterness on the finish. Find it in cans at Bishop’s Cellar.