There are many things I love about Nova Scotia during the summer months. Topping my list is the ever-evolving craft beer scene and the natural beauty of the province. If you dream of sitting in the sun savouring a local beer and soaking in the stunning scenery, then these picturesque decks are the perfect spots to enjoy a brew or two.
First stop is the Port Pub and Bistro in Port Williams, which is nestled on the banks of the Cornwallis River. You’ll find great food fare and flights of beer by the Sea Level Brewing Company, which shares the building with the pub. The deck faces to the east offering views of the huge tidal effect of the Bay of Fundy, as well as the pastoral landscape of the Annapolis Valley. On a side note, Port Williams itself has become a craft alcohol hub, having two breweries, a distillery and two wineries in and around the village.
At the extreme western end of Nova Scotia is Yarmouth and in the heart of town is Rudder’s Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub. There is plenty of great seafood on hand and to go with the house-made beer. Rudder’s deck lets you watch the comings and goings in and around the harbour, and it’s also the best spot to catch a fantastic sunset.
Heading to Halifax? There are numerous places producing and serving up beer to sample, but my top place to go to is the Gahan House, which sits on the Halifax boardwalk. Gahan House is located in Halifax’s Historic Properties and boasts a stellar view of the world’s second largest harbour. Across the way you can see Dartmouth, and the oldest saltwater ferry service in North America, travelling back and forth. Be sure to hop on while in town!
If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, head to Guysborough where Nova Scotia brewing was born in 1659. Since 2005 Rare Bird Pub has been making and serving beer in the town. Grab a beer, some grub and look out onto the bay to imagine what it must have looked like over 400 years ago when the first Europeans arrived. Rare Bird is a great place to visit whether you are sightseeing or wrapping up a day of cycling or kayaking.
Almost in the dead centre in Cape Breton Island is Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza. It’s a little off the beaten path but easy to find – look for the big yellow sign on the Trans-Canada Highway. Atop a hill you’ll find the brewery, a farm, and Big Spruce’s screened-in patio; there are some big skeeters up there! This vantage point offers wonderful views of Bras D’or Lake.
About an hour south of Halifax is the port of Lunenburg, the UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its picturesque skyline and brightly coloured houses. The town is home to the Grand Banker Seafood Bar & Grill. When owner Adam Bower took over a few years ago, one of his first items of business was bringing Nova Scotia Craft Beer to the restaurant. They now have a great selection of local brews available in flights. While you’re there, grab a chair outside and enjoy the magic of this town. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see the Bluenose II sail by!