Tag: unfiltered

When less is more

In a market populated with large and increasingly ornamental tap handles, the Unfiltered ones are easy to miss.  Unless of course you are a fan and then you know what to look for.  In a way the small, sleek, stainless steel pulls are a nod to the way the beer is made.  Totally without pomp or additives.

When I had the chance to tour the Unfiltered Brewery and speak with brewmaster Greg Nash, I asked him why he chose such a diminutive nub.  His reply, like his beer, was straight forward and with no BS. “For me, it’s not about anything but the beer.  It’s got to taste great.  No fluff.  No smoke and mirrors.”

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Made of just four basic ingredients, Water, Barley, Hops and Yeast, the beer is live and, as the name would suggest, unfiltered.  This gives it a noticeably cloudy appearance but there are a few reasons to leave it “LIVE”, which is what beer is called before it gets filtered.  It turns out brewers yeast is one of the richest natural sources of Vitamin B complex.  Beer that has not been filtered is loaded with B vitamins.  Why does this matter you ask?  Well, it turns out B Vitamins are leached from your body when you drink alcohol and their departure contributes significantly to the depth of the next day’s hangover.  Drinking beer full of B Vitamins could both cause and cure that hangover in one delicious gulp.  Secondly, Live beer is more flavourful, has a stronger body and is higher in mineral content.  This richness allows the beer to taste great all on its own.  As Nash puts it, “The beer is au natural.  There is no f***ing sh** in it!”

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Another noteworthy benefit of one brew in particular, is reduced Gluten content.  While they can not technically call the beer “Gluten Free” (due to the beer being made with gluten containing materials), one brew Exile on North Street has been tested at 10 parts per million.  The standard “Gluten Free” labeled food must contain no more than 20 parts per million, so you do the math.

“Everybody wants craft beer.  They want to eat and drink locally.  They want to know what they are putting in their body,” Nash explains. “It’s the way the world is going..slowly but surely.  For us it’s about the beer.  Making great beer from natural ingredients and doing what we do well.  From the Grain to the Glass it’s three weeks.  It has a shelf life.  It must be fresh.  It’s always going to be local and absolutely fresh.  Freshness is key”.


We’re always pouring cold, fresh, Unfiltered Beer at the Millstone Public House.  Drop by and try it yourself.  Or, stop by the brewery on North Street in Halifax and see if you can’t get a word with Nash himself.  He’s quite a character..and he knows his beer!

Potty mouth…spotless brewery

When we first began the search for the brews that would pour from our taps at the Millstone Public House we quickly found one brewery that did things a little differently.  In a world of political correctness and clean public images, the guys at Unfiltered Brewing have taken a different, and somewhat unconventional, path.  An introductory googling of Unfiltered gets you to their website which sets the tone for the audience; letting folks know where they stand when it comes to what is important.  When I asked brewmaster Greg Nash about the colourful language he was unapologetic and with a confident, sincere smile he simply said “This is how I do things.  It’s not rude, it’s direct”  He went on to explain that when the idea to launch a brewery began to percolate he knew one thing for certain – that it wouldn’t be about flash or marketing or gloss or even mass appeal –  “It was going to be about the f*#king beer!!”


Graduating from the American Brewers Guild in California in 1996 Nash apprenticed in three different breweries in Sacramento before heading home to Canada.  He made a name for himself around the maritimes working at the Pumphouse Brewery in Moncton and various breweries in the Halifax area before deciding it was time to brew for himself.  As any entrepreneur will tell you the trade off in security is the flexibility and autonomy to do things your own way.  For Nash, this was a chance to make “really good f*&cking beer that people who know beer will appreciate”.  It’s not bubbly and light and fruity; it’s full, rich, earthy and well crafted.  It’s made with four simple ingredients.  For Nash beer is a food.  “It’s got to be done right and taste great!  And it has to be fresh..freshness is key”.

While the language Nash uses, and the ironically named Charm School Pub next door, are decidedly potty mouthed the brewery itself is absolutely spotless.  There is an obvious pride of operations there and a deep and abiding love of the craft.  It’s a nod to the history of the great drink and a local business thriving right here in Nova Scotia.  What’s not to love about that?

We are always serving up cold pints of Unfiltered Brew at the Millstone Public House.  But if you want to grab a Growler or enjoy one at Charm School they are located at  6041 North Street in Halifax.