Good Robot Brewing Co.

Taproom

By in Events, Past Lives, Taproom Comments Off on RobieScope: Film and Beer together as the gods intended

RobieScope: Film and Beer together as the gods intended

My name is Brent. You might recognize me as your affable neighborhood bartender or maybe the host of Good Robot’s outdoor movie and film screening series, RobieScope. But before that, lifetimes ago, I worked at a local video store called Video Difference.

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(Yeah, the years have been kind)

Video Difference was the first video store to open in Halifax and it was the last to close its doors. It was a 24 hour haven for casual entertainment seekers, film aficionados, and stoned kids looking for trippy nature documentaries.

Video Difference is now a darkened hollowed out monolith, its blind neon eye towering over Quinpool Road (“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!) but you might be surprised to find some of those cinema spirits have wandered into our upstairs barroom theatre.

Allow me to introduce to you our new RobieScope year-round film screening program every Wednesday evening. A warm cozy theatre with a full menu and cold beer. This program will be challenging, strange and adventurous. The closest thing you’ll ever get to a modern VD Staff Picks section. Join me, won’t you?

Jan 9: Con Air

Con Air 1 They were deadly on the ground; now they have wings.

To celebrate Nick Cage’s birthday, I’ve chosen Con Air. This movie is not beautiful. Sunsets are beautiful. Newborn babies are beautiful. This… This movie is [email protected]#king spectacular.

Jan 16: The Royal Tenenbaums

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Family isn’t a word… it’s a sentence.

If you think you’ve had a rough year, buckle up for this roller coaster of sadness! Honestly, this is Wes Anderson’s most human film to date. Feel free to come dressed up as Margot and Richie. (You will have to check your falcon at the door.)

Jan 23: 10 Things I Hate About You

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How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.

Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in a 90’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew? Yes please.

Jan 30: Groundhog Day

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He’s having the worst day of his life… over, and over…

Groundhog Day is the best “time-loop movie” ever made. Come at me, Edge of Tomorrow.

Feb 6: Do the Right Thing

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It’s the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something or you can do… the right thing.

This is one of the sweatiest movies I’ve ever seen. Come see the Spike Lee Joint that Michelle and Barack Obama went to on their very first date.

Feb 13: Wild at Heart

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David Lynch made a wild, crazy love story starring Laura Dern, Nicolas Cage and a snakeskin jacket. It also features Willem Dafoe in his most unsettling role ever. (I say this with confidence) Happy Valentines Week.

Feb 20: BlacKkKlansman

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An African-American police officer from Colorado infiltrates and becomes the head of the local chapter of the KKK.

This is based on a true story and stars Denzel’s son John David Washington. If you missed it last summer do yourself a favour and don’t miss it again.

Feb 27: Won’t you be my Neighbor

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A little kindness makes a world of difference.

A documentary about Mr. Rogers’ impact on the American psyche. My money is on this film to take the best doc award at the Oscars this year.

Mar 10: The Help (FemmeBot event)

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Change begins with  a whisper.

This amazing period drama starring Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Emma Stone is the final event for FemmeBot this year (which is why RobieScope moves to Sunday night this week only). I expect this will turn into a pajama jam. I will certainly be in my onesie.

Mar 13: I, Tonya

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Fitting in is overrated.

RobieScope returns to Wednesdays with a film about shamed figure skater, Tonya Harding. I, Tonya challenges the subjective nature of “true stories”. Beautiful and brutal performances. Loaded with WTF moments.

Mar 20: A League of their Own (MLB season starts on this day)a league of their own 1200 1200 675 675 crop 000000

To achieve the incredible, you have to attempt the impossible.

RobieScope celebrates the opening pitch of the new Major League Baseball season… with a baseball movie. Geena Davis is AWESOME.

Mar 27: Punch Drunk Love

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You can go to places in the world with pudding.

Adam Sandler with an anger management problem in a film that’s not called Anger Management.

By in Brewing, Events, Taproom Comments Off on Women in Brewing | Bettering Our Industry

Women in Brewing | Bettering Our Industry

What I’ve Learned

Hi everybody! It’s Kelly, your friendly neighbourhood BetaBrew Manager. I’ve been in this business for a little over a year now. The robotic nest I inhabit has been pretty close to perfect. Warm enough. Safe enough. Just enough worms vomited in my direction for me to really thrive. I’ve learned things from everyone around me – including some of my fellow women in brewing – and been encouraged to seek out facts from other beautiful brains (EMILY TIPTON, I LOVE YOU). I’ve been given access to resources, supplies, equipment, and seemingly bottomless Meatball Heros (Thank you, Sam and Tony). I’ve been pushed to improve my brewing practice and my character… and my punctuality. Space has been made for me in ways that I never expected.

But that’s within my nest.

Women in Brewing | BetaBrew FemmeBot Homebrew Competition | Kelly Costello, Irene

Kelly & Irene brew Virgo Saison, a grissette.

Beyond that, sometimes I feel safe and warm and sometimes people even puke worms at me, which is nice. It’s familiar. Often, especially in other breweries/nests, people share their information and experiences. They seem to really recognize that the more everyone knows about beer and how it’s made, the better it gets, which is what we want. Usually, I can ask questions, be it about water profiles or hop utilization methods or a simple “what’s that” or “where can I get more worms/meatballs” and the answer is there, given to me freely.

Women in Brewing | BetaBrew FemmeBot Homebrew Competition | Kelly Costello & Evelyn White brew Reclaiming My Time, which received media attention from The Coast and Metro News in Halifax

BetaBrew – Kelly, Evelyn White & friends brew “Reclaiming My Time”, a milk stout with some media attention.

The Problem I Experience

All that said, I still sometimes get laughed at, talked down to, talked over, and even sexually harassed. I’m white, cys-, hetero-, and physically able. I’m soaring in privilege and I still get the bird-shit end of the stick sometimes. This isn’t a “wah wah, everything sucks” message. This is a plea that if we’re going to put so much energy into bettering our beer, then we should also put energy into bettering our beer environments. Socially, and not just for women in brewing, but everyone. We need to crack through the happy shell we’re incubating in and puke encouragement onto the next wave of worm-lovers. Wait, the metaphor is becoming a metamorphosis… You know what I mean! My brewing does not impede your brewing. So yay! Let’s all make beer and eat worms!

FemmeBot Homebrew Competition

Oh, and in the spirit of bettering our beer environments, I’m organizing FemmeBot Homebrew Takeover, a homebrew competition targeted at women in brewing and fabulous femmes. The rules are simple:

  • Who? FemmeBots (female and female-presenting brewers).
  • What? Beer must be pre-Prohibition style (from when brewing was truly a woman’s job).
  • When? March 1st is deadline for submission: 4 x 351mL bottles (or equivalent) with recipe, ABV, name and brewer’s info. Here is the submission form. March 7th (International Women’s Day weekend), winners announced at FemmeBrew Tap Takeover.
  • Where? Drop off at Good Robot. Winners announced at Good Robot.
Women in Brewing | BetaBrew FemmeBot Homebrew Competition | Kelly Costello, Maria Josey & Erica Fraser brew a mole beer

BetaBrew – Kelly, Maria & Erica brew Holy Mole, a brown ale with mole.

Sign up here and help get the word out. Happy brewing.

By in News, Taproom, TDogs Comments Off on Who is Your Mother’s Brother?

Who is Your Mother’s Brother?

Who is your mother’s brother? We want to know.

Ours, is our dear “Uncle Jeff.” Don’t know him? Let me fill you in on all things mother’s brother. He’s our Rock Paper Scissors event champion, Glee Club member, OG Good Robot regular, and now, he’s the newest member of the T-Dogs crew. Pretty outstanding guy, huh? We wanted to know a little bit more about his transition from good ol’ GR patron to dog-slinger extraordinaire, and we know that you do too. So here’s our exclusive  Q & A feature on the mystery that is Uncle Jeff.

Incase you didn't know what a "TDog" was. Voila!

Incase you didn’t know what a “TDog” was. Voila!

GR: How did it feel stepping behind the bar for the first time?

UJ: A little strange at first. But, since I knew everyone it was more comfortable than I anticipated.

GR: Are you saving money now that you’re behind the bar and not at a bar stool?

UJ: No. That never happens. Continue reading

Taproom Event 2: Stand-up Comedy Night – Just Vorlaufs

We told you about Silent Reading Nights. And now for something completely different.

Stand-up comedy is a huge part of our lives. In Seattle, I took weekly trips to the comedy clubs just to hear someone say something meaningful. In fact, Doug Stanhope’s Steal Shit and Quit routine helped push me to quit my job and pursue the brewery. On a road trip we took, Doug had to pull the Chevy Suburban over while listening to Patton Oswalt’s Tom Carvel bit since he was laughing too hard to drive. Angus, Doug and I still attend comedy nights at Gus’ Pub on Mondays and Dal Grad House on Wednesdays. Comedy and beer go hand in hand as catalysts of free speech and, of course, good times.

Doug Stanhope Kissing Josh - Good Robot Brewing Company Craft Brewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Josh and his idol, Doug Stanhope, sharing a moment.

Introducing Just Vorlaufs, a weekly stand-up event showcasing the best comedians Halifax has to offer. No TVs. No pool tables. No smartphones. Just you and whatever unfiltered thoughts come to the comics’ minds. We also envision a series of beers to pair with the comics, like Doug Stanhop, Lewis Black IPA or Patton Osmalt.

Josh and Jon Dore - Good Robot Brewing Company Craft Brewery Microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Josh and his favourite Canadian comic, Jon Dore.

So join us once a week at Halifax’s second-best comedy venue and eighth-best brewery. We need comedy. Here’s why:

“Comedy and tragedy are two halves of the same coin. Comedy unites us—the moment the laugh spreads through the room we come together, it unites. Tragedy is its opposite—it always divides. We like to believe otherwise, in “a country united by tragedy” and shit like that, but it’s not true. Every person’s tragedy is theirs alone, and it divides us off, even as we are sitting together in a room. These two great forces, pushing and pulling, are the axioms that underlie all storytelling. Anyone who counts comedy as a lesser force isn’t seeing clearly how integral they are to each other—subtract either one and the world just doesn’t exist any more.

— Mike Daisey

Taproom Construction Update 1: Lofty Ideas

As construction continues unabated and equipment delays abound, we turn our attention to the first draft of our draft room. From day one, we knew the following about taproom construction:

  • The taproom should serve as the heart of the brewery, a place where we can educate and inebriate.
  • The taproom should serve quality beer without pretension, from table d’hote to table d’ancing.
  • Given our former careers as industrial engineers and our current careers as beer barons, we perceive the motif as industrial equipment overgrown with horticulture.
  • We do not want to be a brewpub. We want a food truck in the driveway, the option for patrons to bring in food from other establishments, and small finger foods to pad your stomachs but not our wallets.
  • We want a wrap-around patio overlooking the Robie Street hustle and a grass driveway.
  • The taproom should be a haven for free speech.
  • We will host events reflecting our personalities, including comedy nights, how-to tutorials from local merchants, silent reading and raging parties.
  • The western portion of the taproom will focus on the entrance and stage.
  • The eastern portion of the taproom will focus on the bar and street with small tables to encourage group seating.
  • The upstairs portion of the taproom will be used for washrooms and private events.
Taproom layout at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft brewery in the North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Our original taproom floor plan. Dimensions are imperial, like our pilsner.

We had ideas but lacked focus. Doug wanted classy. Angus wanted cozy. To me, a bar is like a cannonball competition: the divier, the better. We hired Breakhouse to help us organize. They are ridiculously fun to work with, dissecting even the most minute details of our social media to find the underlying personality and childhood trauma. After several meetings, Gord, Vince, Peter and Andrew helped us focus our thoughts and proposed some excellent ideas:

  • Replace the patio with a ground-level beer garden to eliminate the cityscape feel.
  • The western portion of the taproom should focus on washrooms given the limited size.
  • The eastern portion of the taproom should focus on the bar with a small fold-out stage and high-seats to encourage mingling.
  • The upstairs portion of the taproom can be torn out to create a loft overlooking the eastern taproom.
Wrought Iron Brewing Company in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia Taproom Layout - Breakhouse

Breakhouse: they know what they’re doing.

The taproom design is ongoing but we are excited about the prospects of having a local haunt. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, keep us posted. What do you like in a taproom?

By in Events, Taproom 3

Taproom Event 1: Silent Reading

As we finalize brewery construction and await our delayed equipment arrival, taproom design with the help of Breakhouse continues. Given the abysmal weather, a straight shot of Prozac is in order. Given the limits of our liquor licence, how about an uplifting blog post, instead?

 

Wrought Iron Brewing Company Taproom in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Needs work.

During my time in Seattle, I stumbled upon a cool idea: silent reading parties. For two hours once a month, The Fireside Room went dead-silent as its patrons stuck their noses in books and their tongues in martinis. It was like an imbibing library – an imbibrary – the perfect place for a guy like me with one book, two hours, three cocktails and zero friends. Being forced to remain in silence for two hours also doubled as a bizarre social stimulant: once the event wrapped, people began chatting. A lot. With strangers.

 

Wrought Iron Brewing Company Josh reading book in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

After two hours of Old Fashioneds, picture books were necessary.

Wrought Iron Brewing is proud to present the first of our many lofty and plagiarized event ideas, Silent Knights. For two hours once per month, we will shut down everything at the taproom except the taps, opening up the space for mixing Yeats with yeast. The North End will now have a haunt for those who are unsure whether they want to read a beer or drink a book. And if your idea of a good time doesn’t involve sitting silently in a room for two hours, fear not: more events are to follow. Check Our Events Calendar for other updates.