Visiting pubs and discovering new and delicious beers in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax Harbor Lighthouse

Today we are revisiting the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  When we were here just about a week ago we took a wonderful tour of the “Top 10 Best of Halifax” stopping at beautiful Peggy’s Cove, the Acadian Maple store, the colorful Public Gardens, historic Citadel Hill and the cemetery where lay the bodies of the ill-fated Titanic and more.

We saw so many wonderful things in Halifax that we thought we needed to do something different.  We looked over the offerings in the tour booklet and came across what we thought would be a perfect activity for us.

The tour called “Hop on for Hops” was touted as, “A unique Hop-On, Hop-Off tour with stops at four different pubs.  Savor a wide range of sights, smells and tastes from vibrant wines to a flourishing craft beer culture, plus enjoy a steaming cup of seafood chowder”.  Oh my, this tour was meant for us so we signed up.

One of the many Halifax streets we rode through

After a quick breakfast, we prepared to go ashore and pick up our tickets.  The tickets gave us an all-day pass giving us access to a fully guided city tour aboard a double-decker bus.

It was such a nice day with temperatures in the low-seventies that we decided to take the city tour first then on the second go-round get off at the furthest point of our pub hop and walk back to the pier stopping at the other three pubs along the way.

The ride around the city was actually very nice again.  Our first pub stop was on Green Spring Road called the Rock Bottom Brew Pub.  We walked into the building and noticed that there were two flights of stairs, one going down and one going up each leading to a pub.  The Rock Bottom was downstairs.  Unfortunately, it did not open until later that after we would have already returned to the ship.


Not to be disappointed, we walked upstairs to Your Father’s Mustache and spoke to a very lovely woman.  We explained our predicament and asked if we would use the ticket there.  She said she would check.  When she returned she said we could absolutely have a beer complements of the pub.

The bar tender was very nice and handed us a beer menu.  I explained that I preferred light and refreshing beers.  He recommended that I try the Nine Locks Dirty Blonde a North American style Weizen brewed with Canadian wheat and barley.   I did and it was delicious.

For Randy, the bartender recommended the Irish Red.  Randy loved his choice too and commented on the beer’s sweet caramel taste.  We sat at the bar and had a good deal of fun reading the glasses.  Each glass had funny sayings and were very entertaining. Before we left we thanked the bartender and hostess for being so king and accommodating honoring our ticket.

We left the pub and started our walk to the next stop.  On the way we noticed a lot of activity on the street.  Workers were setting up an event called “Switch Open Street Sunday”.  I learned that this event is to promote the ‘switching” off of cars and “switching on” street entertainment, markets, recreation and activities.  “What a cool idea,” I thought as we watched workers set up giant checker and Jenga games in the middle of the street.

We continued our walk and stopped in Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica.  I do love to spend time admiring architecturally beautiful churches.  We spent a few moments walking around the interior admiring the stained glass windows and the beautiful Georgian style pillars.

Our next stop found us at Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street.  The interior of the pub was rich in dark wood tones.  I was fascinated with the beautiful windows.  After looking over the beer menu, I ordered the Garrison Raspberry Wheat and loved the light flavor. Randy ordered the Garrison Irish Red Ale and enjoyed its smooth malt flavor. Both beers were delicious!

We continued our walk down to The Lower Deck on Upper Water Street.  We were a little taken aback when we noticed that there was no one around.  It was obvious that the pub was just opening for business.  We would be their first customers of the day.  We walked in and waited a few moments and finally the bartender came into the pub.  We produced our tickets and he promptly gave us each a glass of Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale.  We both thought the beer was both light and refreshing.  We spent some talking to the bartender before making our way to the next stop on our pub tour.

By now we were a little hungry and glad to be stopping at the Red Stag Tavern on Lower Water Street.  This was our stop to receive a free bowl of seafood chowder.  Randy loves chowder but I do not.  I asked the waitress if there was another soup I could choose.  She said the chef had prepared a lovely tomato soup.  That sounded great to me so I ordered a bowl.  Randy enjoyed the Alexander Keith’s so much at our last stop that he ordered a bottle of Alexander Keith’s light ale again.  Me, I decided to enjoy a glass of lemonade this stop.  The chowder and soup were delicious!

The entire way back to the ship, we talked about our wonderful day.  The walk was wonderful, the pubs were fun, the bartenders and servers were very friendly, the beers were wonderfully delicious, and we both loved our soups.  We both agreed that it was a good decision to walk from pub-to-pub instead of taking the bus.  The walk afforded us an opportunity to see more of the city and walk off the beer we consumed.

We returned to our cabin for an afternoon of reading before preparing for the evening activities.  Dinner, as usual, was wonderful.  We have found that we enjoy very much the companionship of these wonderful people so much so that we all linger well beyond our dinner time watching as the servers clear off the tables around us.    This group of people has been so much fun to be with.

After all the walking we did today, we decided to return to the cabin for a relaxing evening. We returned to the cabin and noticed that, once again, we were completely enveloped in pea soup fog.  It was going to be a long night of the mournful sound of the ship’s fog horn.

Tomorrow we dock in Bar Harbor, Maine.



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3 Responses to Visiting pubs and discovering new and delicious beers in Halifax, Nova Scotia

  1. Randy J Chartier says:

    What an excellent day. Tour bus, cold delicious beer, walking around Halifax and a great soup for lunch. Fun, what more could we ask for????

  2. Genny says:

    Loved the lighthouse! How did we miss that one when we were there??? Also, the Basilica is beautiful.

  3. helffrich says:

    What an awesome sounding tour. Sue

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