A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Alan -

The Bar Towel, a web site about beer in the Toronto area, did a road trip to Halifax last year and provided a good report of a few spots, including a reference (but no photos) of the Plum. Here is that report.<p>I went to the Plum during the early and mid-80s when it was new and again in the late 90s when visiting Halifax from PEI. Ther have a broiled haddock dinner that is great and Caledonian 80/ on tap as well.

Joe Reed -

Looks like a good city to visit, although I would prefer a more August-ish time.

Alan -

I spent 1981 to 1992 there, Joe, but Mike and I did not know each other - and have yet to meet in fact. It is an old British navy and a commercial seaport and a university town all of which bode very well for the taverns. We Haligonians call them taverns, by the way, which was the style in the late 1700s and early 1800s - a form of wine bar, after <i>taverna</i>. The word has died away in the UK. In my Mom's home village in Scotland there is a bar called "The Tavern Pub" which always looks like an oxymoron to me.

joke -

Maxwell's plum not only has a great selection of beer, but astonishingly cheap lunch specials (with a drink, of course). It's essential for any visitor to Halifax.

Alan -

Some photos of "the Plum" added.

Mike -

Hey - I just Googled "Maxwell's Plum" in order to see if they might have a listing of their fares online, and this post came up #1.

Alan -

Many posts are like that now. We are the #1 beer blog in the Google-verse and #4 for "good beer" after CAMRA, Amazon and Australia.

Jean-Paul Deveaux -

While the selection of beers is great at the Plum, I've found the prices to be rather high (obviously to compensate for their tremendous variety), and the food isn't all th best either (greasy, anyone?)

Furthermore, I had a not-so-good experience there once. It was New Year's Day, and my wife and I went for breakfast. We waited about 20 minutes, and the guy came and took our order, and then we waited, and 40 minutes later our food hadn't come (it wasn't that busy), and when we cornered the waiter, he said he "forgot to put the order in".

Suffice it to say, we left at that point, we haven't been there since, and there's not enough about the place to make me change my opinion. Even the free peanuts.

Chelsea -

My friends and I first went to the Plum in October and it was definetly a good time...we've been there four times in the past 2 weeks and we're in university so that's pretty special. The nachos are AMAZING and so is the beer. And the bartender Mike is HOT! Maxwell's ass, i mean atmosphere is so good, we're going there after the break to celebrate my 20th bday.

Alan -

So...it's about the educational opportunity, right? Tell me this, of 19 year old Mike <i>au reverso</i> lover, do you try the different beers? Have you had, say, Young's Double Chocolate Stout - which I would expect would be a dream come true for a newbie pubber?

Chris Robertson -

I was just into the plum last night and can honestly say I will never return. The bar tender was obviuosly having a bad night and was extremely rude to one of my friends. He dropped a glass, probably a bit too drunk but it was not intentional. She went off on him and kicked him out. I could not believe the way she dealt with the situation. Not to mention he had a tab of $320. So he had more than paid for that glass. I was standing there with another friend for we had just ordered a drink. After she kicked our friend out, she handed us our drinks and we did not tip her. She than went into a rant to us about it was wrong of us not to tip her because she kicked out our friend. Her service was horrible. I wanted to share this experience with anyone who was planning on going to the plum. The experience was terrible and we will never return.


Alan -

Ah, Halifax bartenders. You have to admire that they will not take crap from someone who has rung up $320 worth of drinks. The first time I was in the Seahorse in 1981, when the place was a hard core old guy druggie haunt and 75 cents got you a 12 oz straight glass of draught, the bartender gave one now PhD in our company crap for tipp in nickle and not the quarter per drink: "You think I goddamn live on my wages, asshole?" <p>So if you go to the Plum now, you can be assured that you will not get away with crap and one less group of people who think that waiters are personal servants will be somewhere else. Sorry, Chris, but it's a seaport. Suck it up.

Louis Leverdingen -

Hey there!
In June/July 2003, I visited Maxwell's a lot of times during our stay in Halifax. At that time, I was a member of a Dutch army-band and we participated at the Nova Scotia International Tattoo. I can only say that we had some really great evenings/nights there, with good food and many(!) drinks. Some of the ladies of their staff went out with us on their nights off, wich was one of the reasons that made our stay in Halifax (3 weeks) very nice!!
All the best: Louis Leverdingen

Tammy -

found out my boyfriend was sleeping around on me with one of the"ladies" from Maxwell's Plum. Must say from what Louis said about the "ladies" beer isnt' the only thing you can get from the plum.

Louis Leverdingen -

I'm sorry to read something like that Tammy, but there was no "sleeping around" with the musicians from our Army-band and members from Maxwell's; We just enjoyed ourselves, had some good laughs and spend some really great nights out, that's all.

Mike -

Hi Louis - I attended the Tattoo this summer and all you guys did a great job; a very entertaining show.

I think my first Seahorse visit was ... 1982. I actually remember it quite well; some nice lady bought us a round before we got carded and got the boot. That was pre-reno, I believe.

I was talking to Linden MacIntyre there one night - a few degrees of separation - and he mentioned that it was 'the' media hangout for a time.

Cuzzy -

all I can say is Brewtender! I went there for the first time this fall and they had brewtenders for 16 bucks! Great place.

John Hewitt -

I was wondering if they had an online list of the beer they carry? It seems like quite a place if they are carrying 160 beers from around the world

Nick Miller -

I would like to know if they have a list as well. I'm 20...huge into beer..and have not been to the Plum, this weekend I will finally be breaking my cherry. Several friends of mine have been and absolutely adore the place.

Halifax born and proud.

Alan -

Send reports, Nick. I used to go there before you were born. I am just getting into the age where you can say stuff like that.

Sarah -

I've never been to the plum - but am very intrigued by the huge beer selection. My kinda place. I'm wondering if anyone has any comments/recommendations on the food? I've heard both good and bad. Thoughts???

Ben -

I was visiting Halifax (where I spent 11 years when I was younger) this just two weeks ago. It was my second time there, my first time 3 summers ago also when visiting. I loved that they had 60 beers on tap. Gave me the chance to try something new. The waitress was a bit of a bitch but I thought it gave the place character. When we commented that the peanuts were stale she replied: "Yeah but most people don't complain 'cuz they're free". Which was true and I thought it was great she had the balls to say it. I will return for sure on my next visit. As I live in Israel now, that may not be for a while.

Love the site!


JC -

Ya know I'm currently a student in Hali and have been to the Plum more times than I can count. It's a great place to stop for some food and they have a great beer selection, although their prices are a bit high. I was there for the NHL playoffs and that was the perfect place to be, bigscreen TV's, brewtenders and good food. Keep in mind, it's 'pub grub', not the Olive Garden, if ya lookin for something, 'low fat and sodium free', keep on on walkin. When they're busy, service can get slow, beer orders get preference, but never had problem with the waitresses, but I can defiantely see them standing up to snobs who think they are owed something more than a beer for their money.

cm -

I was at the Plum just this past week but it was too early for a beer, even for me, and so I had to make do with iced tea.

Nick Miller -

It was good when I went, I actually haven't been back since..mainly do to the prices to drink these days and the selection of pubs/bars in Halifax!

I'm glad I can get Hoegaarden on tap there, however I do not reccommend having it with hot wings. haha, the citrus of the beer does not mix well.

Kate Parkes -

I am a server at Maxwells Plum and have been for a year and a half. We don't have a website yet , and I noticed that there were some questions so I decided to post some answers to help you guys out. ( the prices that I am going to mention as well as the specials may not be the same when you come in , we do change them from time to time, but they have been this way for probably about a year and seem to be working )

Happy hours are from 4:30 until 8 Monday to Friday , which means ALL BEER on tap (locals, micros and imports) are 3.45 for a mug and 15.95 for a jug, well shots are 3.45 , wine is 3.45 and all scotch is half price. Keiths and Plum Pale are ALWAYS on for happy hour prices. After happy hour is over the prices vary; for a mug 3.45 to 5.75, pitchers are 15.95 to 21.95.

Everyday we have a 1/2 priced food special from 11am until 10 pm , Mondays Steak , Tuesdays Chicken fingers , Wednesday Grilled Haddock , Thursdays Chicken Wings , Friday Fish and Chips . Saturday and Sunday we have brunch from 11am utnil 3pm , VERY cheap and very good brunch ! Right now we are doing a promotion where you get 2 full burger and fries for 2.50 at lunch and 5 dollars after 5.

If you're looking for something to eat on the lighter side the Grilled haddock is FANTASTIC and it comes with rice and a caeser salad. The frying pan nacho's are also good, its a pan filled with salsa covered with onions, olives, and tomato, topped with cheese and melted until bubbly , and the chips are served on the side. It's one of my faves and also a little lighter. If you're not too concerned with waist size or are just treating yourself the Philly steak sandwich is amazing and the fish and chips are VERY popular !

Hope I helped some of you out and hope to see you there ! If you have anymore questions call Maxwell's Plum at 1(902) 423 5090

Alan -

I agree about the haddock. I will be visiting Halifax at the end of May and will definitely pop in.

Tiffany -

I will never go back to Maxwell's Plum. A gentleman across the table from me and my friend bought us two drinks and himself a drink as a nice birthday gesture for my friend. He ended up forgetting to pay his bill and so the waitress tossed the bill on my tab. We didn't even drink them both! The waitress was rude about the situation and threatened to call the police when I said I was no responsible for that extra payment. Absolutely ridiculous, I wouldn't suggest anyone to go there. To top it off, the food sucked!

Alan -

But you could refuse to pay for what you drank in any bar. Why pick on Maxwells?

Jason -

I just spent a week in Halifax and was at Maxwell's Plum almost every night. Great bartenders, great beer.

Cory -

I work here!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Nicole -

I went to Halifax Oct 2007 and we are moving there this summer from the UK! Maxwells was great we went in a few times for a quick one and ending up spending most of the night there.
The food was great, just good ol' pub food (which was exactly what we all needed at 1am after a few(?) beers )I loved the fact they served food so late you would never get that in a bar in the UK.
The servers were great, in fact the lovely girl behind the bar even put up with my druken chatting whilst she was busy working :)and she was good enough to ask me for ID (being 26 this is a compliment!!!)
Try the bluberry beer !!

joey -

Hi, looking for a person named Bonnie mactyre,she was a waitress there. she is an friend I have lost contact with. Can anyone help? Thanks

Tim -

I worked at this shit-hole for 9 months, the most disgusting work environment ive ever been employed by in my 30 yrs in the industry, rats the size of small dogs are everywhere, ive even seen a customer crush one's head during the middle of dinner rush, the food is the worst quality and is cheap for a reason, ive never set foot in that dive since...if they still have the barrel of peanuts, you can see the top level undulate as the rats at the bottom feast on them. disgusting and HIGHLY UN-Reccomended...Oh BTW, the owner once bought 2, count em TWO slushy machines to try and salvage the moldy, months on-tap,unpasteurized, fruit-based beers for $4 a pint, the only thing id drink on tap there is whatever sells the most, hence freshest...you have been warned.