Bar Stillwell Owner is a Triple Threat #BrewedAwakening

By / Wine + Drinks / January 19th, 2018 / 7

The recent release of East Coast Crafted, a book mostly about the recent boom in small breweries in Atlantic Canada, brought the name of Christopher Reynolds further into the beer spotlight. As co-author, with local Halifax writer/editor Whitney Moran, Reynolds became a triple threat in the local beer world.

Reynolds arrived in Halifax indirectly via a connection to Bar Volo, a legendary beer destination in Toronto, where his business partner worked. They felt that a similar bar would work in Halifax, and now we are blessed with Bar Stillwell, one of the most innovative and influential beer purveyors in the country. Along with other cool newish spots like Obladee wine bar and Highwayman, a tapas bar, Stillwell is helping to revitalize the northern end of Barrington Street, which was a hub of cultural activity in the 70s and 80s, but had declined (with some clear exceptions like Chives and its neighbouring co-businesses). They also have a pioneering, seasonal beer garden, which started on the waterfront the first year but they were essentially pushed out – long story – and reopened on Spring Garden, which has been a great addition to Halifax’s beer culture.

Stillwell features a continuously changing tap list (including some cask beers) made up mostly of local beer, and a bunch of very cool bottled brews. They also have events and regular tap takeovers, including from neighbouring provinces, but also famous breweries from around the world. No bar in Atlantic Canada had done this sort of thing before. They have been a game changer. The food is tasty, too. Try the Diner Burger.

The third part of the triple threat is that now Reynolds/Stillwell has a brewery. They had made beers with local breweries but are now operating out of a section of the original Propeller location on Gottingen street. Stillwell brews interesting, old world influenced beer, including a crisp Stilly Pils that was on tap this past week, but also some more adventurous stuff, such as Gosh, a dry-hopped, barrel aged, bottle conditioned farmhouse style ale. It’s a bretty blonde, dry hopped with Mosaic, giving it some tropical notes.

Now a triple threat, one wonders if Reynolds will go for a fourth. A private beer store, with imports from around the world, maybe?


Craig Pinhey discovered good drink circa 1985 at Ginger’s Tavern/Granite Brewery in Halifax and has been writing about beer, wine and spirits for 25 years. A Certified Sommelier and BJCP judge, Craig lives in New Brunswick where he runs his own writing and consulting business and is the beverage columnist for Brunswick News. He is the only person to have judged all of the national wine, spirits and beer awards of Canada.

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