The craft beer scene continues to flourish as another brewery takes flight in downtown Halifax.
2 Crows Brewing, the brainchild of husband and wife Mark and Kelly Huizink and brewer Jeremy Taylor, hopes to get people thinking about craftsmanship and the characteristics that make great beer, great.
“We’re beer drinkers; we love good beer,” says Mark Huizink. “I’m half-Belgian, and every time we went to visit, my cousins were always drinking these crazy beers. I got obsessed.”
The morning before they opened, Taylor received requests from bars like Stillwell, Stubborn Goat, Good Robot and Battery Park, asking for kegs to serve at their businesses. Taylor says Halifax’s appetite for craft beer doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon. He hopes to use this to his advantage.
At an opening event for the public on Saturday, the industrial, open-concept brewery and tasting room was overflowing with curious customers, beer nerds and industry professionals. People packed the venue from the minute doors opened at noon — and the beer didn’t stop flowing until well after dark.
“It’s crazy,” said Kelly Huizink halfway through the day. “We hoped for a big turn out, but this is nuts.”
The new brewery joins the ranks of a thriving industry in Halifax. Jeremy Taylor, the Vancouver-born brewer behind 2 Crows’ beer, says the brewing community in the city is “just incredible.”
“Everyone has been super helpful,” says Taylor. “Breweries across the city have gone out of their way to give us a hand and share valuable advice.”
So far the brewery has three official beers that Taylor believes reaches a variety of tastes, and he’s already started experimenting with different seasonal styles as well. Along with its main selection, 2 Crows has a mango-infused beer, a sour beer and a stout on tap.
“People seem to be getting more and more on board with different flavours and different brewing styles,” says Taylor. “If there’s a limit to the number of successful craft breweries a city can have, I don’t think we’re anywhere near it yet.”
Andrew Connell, one of the owners at Stillwell, says when compared with other provinces, Nova Scotia doesn’t have half as many breweries. As a beer bar that specializes in serving local craft beer, Connell is always excited when a new brewery pops up. Stillwell picked up three different kegs of 2 Crows beer to put on tap later this week.
“2 Crows is the only brewery in Nova Scotia that is currently brewing a table beer, so it fits into our rotation well,” says Connell. “It’s nice to be able to support local breweries when we can.”
Nestled on the north side of Brunswick Street, 2 Crows Brewing provides an opportunity for customers to experience the brewing process, while sipping on a beer. The 23-foot ceilings are complimented with bright lighting, light wood tables and a colourful mural that spans across the left-hand wall. Taylor says he is pleased with how the space turned out, and he likes that he can interact with customers instantly and explain the brewing process to anyone who may be interested.
The brewery offers a small snack menu, but also encourages customers to bring in their lunch or order delivery to the tasting room, to accompany their beer.