GLOBAL NEWS - August 6, 2015

Halifax Seaport Beerfest showcases local craft beer 

August 6, 2015 BY RAY BRADSHAW

HALIFAX – Craft beer is a growing trend in the city, and this weekend residents will get a chance to try some of the best at the 9th annual Halifax Seaport Beerfest, the largest gathering of craft beer, imports and cider in Atlantic Canada.

Craft beer brewers from all over Eastern Canada, Maine, and Ireland, will be serving up their products at Beerfest. “An incredible selection of brands,” said Brian Titus, the co-founder of the Halifax Seaport Beerfest. “Over 300 unique beers, all specialty, seasonal and local craft beers.”Titus is also co-owner of Garrison Brewing, which has been operating for 19 years. He said the craft beer business is booming. “Craft beer is very much on fire right now. We’ve got an environment where five, six, seven breweries, are starting a year in this province. Per capita right now, Nova Scotia has got one of the highest rates in Canada for local craft breweries.”

North Brewing Company on Agricola Street started two-and-a-half years ago. Co-owner Peter Burbridge agreed with Titus. “I think everyone who has opened up, so far, the common story is, they’re having trouble keeping up with demand and expanding capacity.”

North Brewing used to sell mainly over the counter, but it’s expanding rapidly. “We’ve almost tripled our capacity, and now we move more product out through licensees, and you know we have over 30 accounts now,” said Burbridge.

Good Robot Brewing opened just three months ago. The three owners left engineering careers to brew craft beer. For them, Beerfest is about professional networking as well as allowing potential customers to sample their beer.

“It’s good exposure for us and with our tap room on sight opening later this fall, it’s just good to be able to interact with more people,” said Angus Campbell, Co-owner of Good Robot. He said the company also appreciates, “interacting with more brewers and learning a lot from them, because pretty much every discussion you have with a different brewer they’ve got different ideas – different ways to optimize your processes – different ways to generate different flavours out of the same thing.”

The market is competitive, and that’s a good thing, said Burbridge. “It really fuels everyone to do more creative things, better things, so it’s an exciting time to be in the business here.”

To go along with the craft beer at the Beerfest, there’s food and music. It’s all happening Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday evening at the Cunard Centre.

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