Good Robot Brewing Co.


By in Brewing, Events, Taproom 0

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!

Women in Brewing | BetaBrew FemmeBot Homebrew Competition | Kelly Costello, Nicole Kohl Thone

Nicole “Kohl” Thone & Kelly brew a sarsaparilla stout.

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.

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

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.