Good times brewin’ at Halifax Seaport Beerfest

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Metro Halifax

HALIFAX - You don’t need much to have a good time at the Seaport Beerfest.

Bridge Brewing Company owner Peter Burbridge shows off some of the product he'll feature at this year's Seaport Beerfest, which opens Friday.

For Peter Burbridge and the folks at the Bridge Brewing Company, it’s as simple as getting into the community and having a couple drinks.

“It’s just that sense of camaraderie,” says Burbridge. “It’s a great industry to be in and all the local craft breweries are really supportive of each other, so there’s that fun community feel.”

The 7th annual Seaport Beerfest is taking place Friday and Saturday at the Cunard Centre. Around 13,000 litres of beer and cider, from 17 countries, will be available for enthusiasts to sample.

Burbridge is bringing a 20-litre keg of each of his summer ales, Belgian blonde and strong dark Belgian, to the grogfest. He recommends the summer ale for a refreshing drink.

“It’s pretty light in appearance. It’s got a lot of hops, bitterness, it’s really dry and refreshing, and you get the citrusy notes from the orange peel,” he said.

Brian Titus, co-producer of Beerfest and owner of the Garrison Brewery, says the goal of Beerfest isn’t for people to get sloppy drunk – but it may be inevitable, given the number of suds available to sip.

Just don’t expect to drink them all, he says.

“Over half the beers available you could not go into a liquor store and buy off the shelf,” he said.

Titus says local beers have more than doubled at this year’s event.

“The scene in Nova Scotia for local craft brewers has absolutely exploded,” he said.

A similar trend is evident in Ireland, according to Seamus O’Hara, founder of Carlow Brewing Company and special guest of this year’s Beerfest.

O’Hara says craft breweries are changing the landscape of the beer industry.

“The new guys are bringing more diversity into the market and getting inspiration as well,” said O’Hara.

O’Hara’s says he’s excited to introduce Bluenosers to four of his brews, but to also try some unique drinks himself.

“I’m really looking forward to taste beers of the other Canadian breweries that are coming along,” said O’Hara. “We might get some interesting ideas for inspiration from that.”

Organizations: Bridge Brewing Company, Cunard Centre, Carlow Brewing Company

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Ireland

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