I am a grown-up. I have a disposable income. I pay taxes. I still buy the cheapest beer available. Now — before diving into this experiment, there needs to be clarification. I’m looking for the cheapest beer that you can consume at your own home. So no bars are included. And they need to be craft beer. This means any commercially-produced macro beers don’t count. Let’s scour Nova Scotia and see what we can find.
Did you know in the 1800’s, growlers were pails used to transport beer from pubs to individuals homes? By law, pub owners were only allowed to fill the pail half full. This didn’t stop the pail owners from ‘growling’ about the wasted space in their containers. Thus, the growler was born.
Along with being environmentally friendly, the growler is a practically perfect way to take your favourite craft beer home. In Halifax, beer snobs have a wealth of riches regarding craft beers, most of which are available for growler fills.
Both locations have growler fills starting at $10 a pop, letting you tuck into 1.89L of delicious beer in the cheapest possible way. Per dollar, you’re getting 189ml of beer. That’s a good deal. The fact that it’s both craft and local is a bonus.
Cheapest Bottles and Cans
For beer available at the government-run, Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, I found an excellent craft beer that is both cheap and delicious. Spindrift Killik Session Lager is an easy-drinking tasty lager that comes in cans. A six pack of this new release will run you an even 14 dollars which comes out to a palatable 152.1ml per dollar. Not only do you taste the Herkules and Huell Melon hops but supporting local industry as well.
Best Value Beer
Cheap is a relative term. What is important is value. I compared two of the beers mentioned above, as well as Boxing Rock’s Vicars Cross. This Double IPA is bitter but remarkably smooth with hints of citrus. Why I included The Vicar’s Cross was because not only because of the size (650ml) or price ($6.49) but the alcohol content (8.5%). It has become a local legend in Nova Scotia, humbling both beginner and experienced beer drinks with its easy drinking but playfully dangerous power.
Through this handy blood-alcohol content calculator, I found out that roughly 2.9 bottles of Hopyard and 3.3 cans of Killick can bring you to the same blood-alcohol level as one bottle of The Vicars Cross. Assuming it takes an average person 20 minutes to drink 355ml of liquid, The Vicars Cross is the most efficient to 2.4 BAC followed Hopyard and then Killick. This is relative to body size but provides a guide to drinking efficiently in Nova Scotia.