Last night, I was delighted to join hundreds of my beer drinking friends down at Halifax’s Cunard Centre for the 10th annual Seaport Beerfest. For its tenth anniversary, Seaport Beerfest has moved to a larger, indoor venue, which means weather will never interfere with one’s beer enjoyment now or in the future. (Truthfully, a little rain never bothered us, it’s Nova Scotia!)

Halifax Seaport Beerfest 2013

Much like last year, what I lack in beer knowledge I make up for in beer enthusiasm – bring on the beer education!

Don’t miss the Irish Craft Beer Village

I joined organizer Bruce Mansour, media types and fellow bloggers like Local Traveller NS to learn more about this year’s beer highlights. Halifax Seaport Beerfest welcomed a fine selection of craft beers and ciders from Ireland, forming an Irish Craft Beer Village. To entertain and educate, Irish craft brewer and beer expert Seamus O’Hara was on hand to make a very convincing case for going on a beer tour of Ireland.

Food for Beer Drinking

Following the Irish brews, I set out immediately for food. Seaport Beerfest always has great food on offer and this year was no exception. New* Halifax gastropub The Stubborn Goat offered up a delightful chicken-and-waffle that I couldn’t resist. (*So new, it’s not even open yet!)

Halifax Seaport Beerfest 2013 Food Stubborn Goat

There were other local eating options serving up great food pairings for beer drinking, like my food truck friends The Food Wolf, Q Smokehouse & Southern BBQ, and Bramoso Gourmet Pizzeria.

Nova Scotia Craft Brews

Following my snack, I set out for some serious beer drinking. Let it not go unsaid: this is a great time to be drinking beer in Nova Scotia. There are craft breweries popping up in every corner of the province and their products are fun, unique and of terrific quality. At this year’s Beerfest, I met Boxing Rock Brewing from Shelburne, NS – all of one month old! – and got to sample their Temptation.

Halifax Seaport Beerfest 2013 Boxing RockBoxing Rock joined other great Nova Scotia craft brews on hand: Garrison Brewing, Big Spruce Brewing, Bridge Brewing, Hell Bay Brewing and Uncle Leo’s Brewery. My one regret is that I didn’t get to sample more of them, the lines were just too long in some cases. From where I sit, this is a great problem to have, because it means people are not only drinking our fine local brews, but spreading the word and getting others excited about them, too.

Important follow up question: who’s up for a Nova Scotia beer tour??

Navigating Beerfest

Seaport Beerfest is more of a marathon than a sprint. I always see lots of friends, like Todd, Jocelyn and Jim from Avoiding Chores. Be sure to check out their Google Hangout for a proper roundup of the best beers from Beerfest.

Avoiding Chores Halifax Seaport Beerfest 2013

After joining forces with some real beer connoisseurs, and a couple of other groups of friends, we did our best to sample the best, the most exotic, or the most normally-unavailable brews to be found. Taking a quick break on the deck overlooking Halifax’s busy seaport, the night quickly became an epic adventure.

Here’s the great news, if you’re in Halifax, or a short drive away, there are still two more tasting sessions: Saturday afternoon (August 10) from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm and Saturday evening (August 10) from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Ticket information and full beer details can be found at Halifax Seaport Beerfest.

If you can’t join us this year, block off your calendar for August 2014!

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