Alexander Keith's Brewery, Halifax

4 out of 5 stars 13 Reviews

1496 Lower Water Street +1 902-455-1474

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    Up the Stairs to the Tour
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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Get it at source.

    by planxty Written Oct 21, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It will come as no surprise to regular readers of my pages here on Virtual Tourist that Ilike the odd drink and so a suggested trip to the Alexander Keith Brewery in Halifax sounded right up my street. I should say that I am generally a cider drinker but I had developed taste for the "red ales" which appear to be quite popular in the Maritime Provinces of Canada and Keith's offering was a as good as any. What an opportunity then to go and see where it is actually produced.

    We had gone to the ticket office in late afternoon and booked ourself into a tour starting in about an hour. Because of the very nature of the place they can only accommodate a limited number of people at a time, as I shall explain shortly. We decided to repair to the 'brewery tap' of the place, an excellent hostelry called the Red Stag Tavern (that being the company logo) which I deal with on a separate tip on this page.

    When the time came, we assembled in a small area within the complex, for that is what it is. It now houses shops, restaurants and all sorts of things but this was originally all the Keith's Brewery. As is so often the way in nova Scotia, we were greeted by a young lady in period dress who insisted that from that point on we were all 'in character' and were not to talk about modern things and so on. She obviously had her script well learnt and gave us a brief history of the original Mr. Keith arriving in Canada, setting up his brewery etc. and then ushered us into the delightful room you can see in one of the images. I believe it may have been a boardroom in previous times.

    Once seated, she left us alone and the 'mirror' above the fireplace sparked into very 21st century life with a video / hologram of the late Mr. Keith telling us more about the history of the place. When that finished, she reappeared and ushered us through to another area, this time obviously connected with the brewing process. I have to say that the vats (if that is the correct term) were absolutely gleaming. At that point a young man, again in period dress, had taken over the tour, playing the part of a brewer from perhaps the 18th century. He explained the whole process to us in simple layman's terms that even a dullard like me could understand.

    When that was over, we were escorted into another room, the bar, where there were samples of the various brews avilable. If memory serves, I opted for a seasonal honey ale which was gorgeous but the fun didn't end there. Once we were all suitably supplied, the young lady and young man from earlier, joined by another young lady (again in period dress) decided we were going to have a bit of a singsong where we were all invited to join in. Well, I needed no second bidding as I do this for a living. I di notice one of the young ladies giving me slightly funny looks as theyw ere singing three part harmonies and I was singing a fourth part above both the females. OK, so my voice never broke properly. In fairness, they were very good and encouraged us all (myself included) to join in the choruses although I may have been the only one there that knew most of them.

    After a few songs, we were ushered out through the inevitable giftshop and back into what is now a fancy shopping centre which was by this time closing down for the night. It is not a particularly cheap thing to do but I did find it hugely enjoyable, the young peolel 'in role' were excellent and really brought a fairly simple brewing process to life, inbuing into it a sense of history, and I recommend it.

    If you want to visit, here are the logistics.

    Adult Ticket $22.95
    Senior Ticket $19.95
    Youth Ticket (Under 19) $10.95
    Family Ticket (2 Adults, 3 Youths) $49.95

    Group Rate $19.95 (Min. 15 people)
    Military Rate $19.95
    Student Rate $19.95

    Summer Tours (Jun 1 - Oct 31)

    Mon to Sat 12pm - 8pm (every half hour)
    Sun 12pm - 5pm (every half hour)
    Winter Tours (Nov 1 - May 31)

    Fri 5pm - 8pm (every hour)
    Sat 12pm - 8pm (every hour)
    Sun 12pm - 5pm (every hour)

    All the above is taken from the attached website and current as of October 2014, check for changes.

    Keith's Brewery, Halifax, Canada. Keith's Brewery, Halifax, Canada. Keith's Brewery, Halifax, Canada. Keith's Brewery, Halifax, Canada. Keith's Brewery, Halifax, Canada.
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    ~ A Sample of Beer ~

    by RavensWing Written Aug 22, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Alexander Keith's Brewery Tour was quite entertaining and informative. There are people dressed in the time period when Alexander Keith was first working on his brewery. They make the story come alive with fun facts, stories and singing.

    You walk into Mr. Keith's house and sit in his dining room learning some of the history. Then you walk into a room where they show you the hops they use to make the beer. Next up the 'worker' shows you how the beer is made in the brewery. Then they take you downstairs to sample the beer. You have the choice of India Pale Ale, India Red Ale, or the new Galaxy Hop. I tried the Galaxy hop, it was quite good and I'm not a regular beer drinker. While we were having our 'samples' the staff entertained us with songs and dances. Then it was time to go. You are lead out down a tunnel. This is the actual tunnel that Mr. Keith used to go between his house and the brewery.

    It was a great tour. I would recommend it to everyone. Even if you're not interested in beer, hearing about the history of Mr. Kieth's ability to grow his business is wonderful.

    ~ Admission Rates ~

    Adult Ticket $20.95
    Senior Ticket $17.95
    Youth Ticket (Under 19) $9.95
    Family Ticket (2 Adults, 3 Youths) $48.95
    Group Rate $17.95 (Min. 15 people)
    Military Rate $17.95
    Student Rate $17.95

    Children under 10 are free

    ~ Tour Times ~
    SUMMER TOURS (JUN 1 - OCT 31)
    Mon to Sat 12pm - 8pm (every half hour)
    Sun 12pm - 5pm (every half hour)

    WINTER TOURS (NOV 1 - MAY 31)
    Fri 5pm - 8pm (every hour)
    Sat 12pm - 8pm (every hour)
    Sun 12pm - 5pm (every hour)

    LOCATION
    The Brewery Market, 1496 Lower Water Street,
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Up the Stairs to the Tour Crushing the Hops Brewing Take your pick The Tunnel
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  • tvor's Profile Photo

    Brewery Tour

    by tvor Updated Jun 14, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Those who like it, like it a lot

    That's the motto for Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale. Keith's brewery has been a long standing business in Halifax since the 1820's. Other beers come and go but Keith's remains a local favourite. In the old stone brewery on the waterfront, you can take a tour of the brewery with guides in period dress and hear about life in Halifax in the 1800's. The tour is a lot of fun and you should enjoy it quite a bit. Legal drinking age is 19 but the tours are open to younger members. You just can't sample the product like the over-19's can!

    Tours last about an hour and prices range from $15 per adult and down for seniors, children and group rates. Tours run daily through the summer season and weekends only in the winter and spring. See
    Brewery Tour info for details.

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery

    by victorwkf Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    For those of you interested in beer, you can take an informative and interactive tour of the Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery. Actors in period costume will lead you back in time as you learn about the beer, the brewery and life in Halifax in 1863. Visit the Stag's Head Tavern where you will listen to toe tapping music, play games and of course sample Keith's fine ale. More information is at their website below.

    Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery, Halifax
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  • PA2AKgirl's Profile Photo

    Brewery Market

    by PA2AKgirl Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Local Halifax beer and that's not all. Alexander Keith's is a big part of Halifax culture and you can take tours, sample the local beer and/or visit the market. The market is now a farmers market on the weekend (Sat.), and very popular with locals. Among fresh fruits and vegetables, there's also a wine cellar for some wine and cheese sampling. Additionally, there's flowers, syrup and delis combined with crafts and even musicians. It's a lively place and the oldest in North America...we passed by as it was just picking up and already very crowded.

    Keiths brewery is not just about beer...in fact, that just seems to be what got the area started. Now it's MUCH more...a lot of which has nothing to do with beer other than the use of the building.

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    Brewery Market

    by tvor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Halifax Farmer's market is the oldest in North America. Currently it lives in a restored 19th century stone building on the waterfront but it will be moving to a renovated warehouse further south on the waterfront in Pier 20 in July 2010. The current building used to be a brewery belonging to the company that made Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale, the most popular beer in NS. There is a brewery back in the building again now and they do tours. The market takes place on Saturday mornings and has lots of fresh produce, meat, fish and cheese, much of it organic, as well as plants and herbs, crafts and food ready made.

    There is a bright and skylighted center courtyard where sometimes there is a string quartet playing. Follow the labyrinth of narrow stone walled corridors to all the little hidden nooks and crannies filled with stalls and shops and kiosks. The brewery is very popular and is usually crowded, which is one reason why it's moving, so bring your patience with you. It's worth it!

    Update: The main of the market has moved to the Seafront market at Pier 20 further south on the waterfront. There are still vendors in the Brewery Market, however, though not as many. It can still be visited.

    Mural on the wall of the Brewery

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  • Tricky_Dicky69's Profile Photo

    ALEXANDER KEITH'S BREWERY

    by Tricky_Dicky69 Written Jun 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A guided tour around the brewery is a great way to spend a couple of hours as you get to have a look around, learn some history and have a beer as well.

    This is an informative and interactive tour of the Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery where Actors in period costume will lead you back in time as you learn about the beer, the brewery and life in Halifax in 1863. The tour includes a visit the Stag's Head Tavern where you will listen to toe tapping music, play games and of course sample Keith's fine ale.

    The staff and guides are all in period costume and tell the story of Alexander Keith's famous I.P.A. which has been brewed in Halifax since 1820. Tours run all year round but are only hourly from September to May. The tour lasts about an hour and there is also a cafe and a gift shop.

    Well worth a visit.

    ALEXANDER KEITH'S BREWERY, HALIFAX. ALEXANDER KEITH'S BREWERY, HALIFAX. ALEXANDER KEITH'S BREWERY, HALIFAX. ALEXANDER KEITH'S BREWERY, HALIFAX. ALEXANDER KEITH'S BREWERY, HALIFAX.
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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Because those who like it, like it a lot!

    by Jefie Written Sep 7, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Brewed in Nova Scotia since 1820, Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale is one of the country's favourite beer - and we're talking about Canada, where people truly know their beer! Rumor has it that when Bill Clinton was visiting Canada a few years ago, Prime Minister Jean Chretien introduced him to the fine taste of Keith's ale... that's how important this beer is to the country! Back in the days, Alexander Keith's reputation was just as good as his beer's - he was a prominent member of Halifax's society and even became mayor of the city. The history behind the beer is what makes a visit at the Keith's brewery so interesting. Historical characters will take you through Mr. Keith's house, brewery and a real evening out at the pub, complete with rowdy jokes and traditional songs, and where you will of course get to taste the famous India Pale Ale (lemonade and ice tea are available for kids). One of the best attractions in town!

    Cheers!
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  • Kaspian's Profile Photo

    Alexander Keith's Brewery

    by Kaspian Updated Oct 6, 2005

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    If you like beer at all, you have to stop at Alexander Keith's brewery for a drink! Over the past 5 years, Keith's "India Pale Ale" has become one of Canada's most popular bottled and on-tap brews. I had tried Keith's before my visit here but became a huge fan after trying it out of a fresh keg at this brewery--it tasted so good; clean and had slight sweet apple taste to it. Do try the drink here, before it gets put onto trucks, shipped around the country, spending weeks in basements, and coming out of taps that don't get cleaned often enough.
    This brewery is the oldest working brewery in North America! In 1820, a 25 year-old Scottish immigrant named Alexander Keith, established this Halifax brewery. The brewmaster carefully built the recipe for his pale ale. The people of Halifax liked his drink so much that in 1934 he was elected Mayor of Halifax. His birthday is still celebrated on October 5th every year with a big party in Halifax. (And with lots of drinking!) The ale recipe remains a well-guarded secret.
    Hour-long tours of the brewery run 7 days a week, every 15-minutes during designated times. The tours are inexpensive, under $10. "Those who like it, like it a lot!"

    Halifax - Alexander Keith's Brewery (2004) Halifax - Alexander Keith's Brewery - Inside (2004
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    Alexander Keith's Brewery

    by Blatherwick Written Aug 28, 2005

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    Time for a beer tour! This is the oldest working brewery in North America and well worth a look. Tours cost $9 Cdn and go every 1/2 hour. It is one of the better tours that I've ever had in a beer factory. The tour is led by costumed guides who stay in the 18th century character the whole time. At the end of the tour, you are entitled to two beers and are treated to some traditional East Coast music.

    This location also holds a farmer's market on the lower level on Saturdays from 7am to 1pm. It's a good place to pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables.

    Keith's Brewery
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    Keith's Brewery

    by Cashee Written Jan 25, 2005

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    This is the oldest working brewery in North America... and it makes the best beer in the world!

    You get a guided historical tour with some free beer.

    It's a fun thing to do before you're ready to go to the pubs and bars.

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    Alexander Keith's Brewery

    by wreckloose Written Dec 20, 2004

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    "Those who like it, like it alot"

    That's what they say about the beer, and if you've ever had one, then you know it's true. Going to this brewery was like a day in heaven. For all beer fans, I strongly recommend going on this tour. Oh and don't forget to try out the Keith's Honey Brown. One of the best.

    Alexander Keith's Brewery 2004 Alexander Keith's Brewery 2005
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  • Alexander Keith's Brewery Tour

    by RobDavis Written Jun 17, 2003

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    If you like beer, are a history buff, or just like something a little different to kill an hour or so, be sure to check out the Alexander Keith's Brewery and take the $8 tour.
    During the tour, small groups of people are led through a working re-construction of the original brewery from the early 1800s. An overly enthusiastic tour guide, dressed in authentic costume conducts the tour. You get the impression that this guy lives for his work, and his obsessive enthusiasm is a bit contagious.
    You get to taste the raw barley & hops, which kind of sits in your teeth for a while until the end of the tour, where you get to taste the finished product. I wasn't allowed to stay there drinking all day, but they did give me an extra one.

    The Original Brewery
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