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It’s more than just the beer

Supporting local brewers lets you boost businesses that support your community and share your values

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Trevor J. Adams, Photo: Tammy Fancy

I really like Nova Scotia’s local beer. If you’ve been reading this magazine long, or following me on social media, this isn’t breaking news.

Taste and quality are a big part of it. I’d sooner drink a hoppy IPA from Tatamagouche, or a rich velvety stout from Cape Breton, or a tart beer in a classic Belgian style from the North End, than a watery, fizzy, designed-to-please-everybody brew from a giant multinational corporation.

Nova Scotians have historically had a paltry selection of beer to choose from. If you wanted something bland and popular, and wanted to stick with it forever, NSLC served you pretty well. If you wanted variety, surprising new flavours, and a focus on local ingredients, you were mostly out of luck.

It’s little surprise that craft brewers aplenty have rushed in to fill that void. And quality and variety are only parts of the equation. Just as important to me is the way buying local beers lets me vote with my wallet.

Local brewers emphasize local ingredients. They hire your fellow Nova Scotians. They spend their profits here in our community, instead of funnelling them off to a giant head office in another country. If I’m buying beer either way (and let’s face it, I am), I’d sooner spend my money with businesses that share my values.

And this is why Halifax Magazine is focusing a lot more on Nova Scotian local beer this year. You’ll find a huge free archive of all of our beer-related stories, including many web-exclusive pieces by Kim Hart Macneill. You may read beer stories in other local magazines, but you’ll see we’re doing something different.

We don’t curate lists cheerleading for anyone who happens to advertise. Kim’s an award-winning journalist and she’s used those skills to build a huge network of beer-industry insiders who are constantly sharing advice and expertise.

“When I’m buying a beer, I want to know about its flavour, aroma, and mouth feel,” Kim says. “It would be a fun, but deadly, full-time job, to try every new Nova Scotia craft beer as it comes out, so I rely on the experts—brewers, bartenders, and specialty retailers—to share their knowledge.”

They tell her about what breweries are working on, what new beers are coming, and what cool events are coming up next. Instead of boosterism, you’ll find informed, useful opinions to help you find the best local beers.

Next month sees the return of Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week (May 5 to 14). We’ll be celebrating with another big beery special report by Kim in the May issue of Halifax Magazine. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to share your own opinions.

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