About Us

Why we Brew

When we started, John brewed two beers: Extra Special Bitter and Pale Ale. A lot has changed since then! Our lineup is a blend of new and classic styles, with something for everyone. We have our celebrated standards, including that ESB, seasonal favourite Pumpkin Spiced Ale, and our IPA, the first true IPA made locally – it changed Nova Scotia beer. Newer craft beer fans might know us for our hazy, juicy Galaxy IPA or our fruity summer seasonals. We’ve even added craft cocktails to the mix. It’s all made with the care and curiosity that started Propeller.

Over two decades of history

Back in the early 90s, John Allen was busy working in the film industry, as a prop master. Between projects, John was brewing the kind of flavourful beer that he loved – and was hard to find in Halifax. He was pleasantly surprised to find his friends and family converted. Though craft beer was a new movement in Canada, John was ready to bring it to Nova Scotia. He quit his day job and opened the Propeller Brewing Company on Gottingen Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1997. Based on the popularity of his first two brews, John and Propeller soon expanded as fast as possible and introduced a fresh generation of beer drinkers to hops with our best-selling India Pale Ale.

Today, we’re still honing classic brews Nova Scotians have been enjoying for years and experimenting with new styles and flavours. We’ve expanded to three Prop Shops and two Tap Rooms, and John’s added his son, Mike to the team. Today, you can find us in liquor stores and bars in Nova Scotia and beyond. Give a Propeller brew a try: we hope it’ll be your new favourite.

At home in the north end

Gottingen Street has changed a great deal since we moved in, and we’ve changed our home on it. Propeller’s building was previously home to the Carpenter’s Union Hall in the basement, a hair salon and copy centre on the main level, and artists' studios upstairs. Many would remember when it housed "Wormwoods Dog and Monkey Cinema," the alternative film theatre. When Propeller began, a brewhouse replaced the screen and soon a bottling line popped up where the concessions used to be.

The space was crowded with tanks and fermenters until we moved main production to our new brewery on Windmill Road in 2013. After a spirited spring cleaning, Propeller employee Ian Matheson, who ran a company renting out arcade machines for events, took the lead on converting the basement space to a classic arcade. Expanding quickly, the Propeller Arcade now includes a second bar and seating area on the brewery floor. And, of course, we still brew at Gottingen; those Gottingen Small Batches are unique creations you can only find on tap in Prop Shops and Tap Rooms. Some kegs escape to a local beer bar or two, and some of those brews have graduated to become Propeller core brands.

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