BEST BAR­TENDER

Lind­say Jones, The Mid­dle Spoon Desser­t­erie & Bar

The Coast - - FOOD & DRINK -

DRINKS

BEST BAR GOLD Good Ro­bot Brew­ing Co. SIL­VER Durty Nelly’s Au­then­tic Ir­ish Pub BRONZE Stillwell Good Ro­bot Brew­ing Co. has shot up from last year’s bronze to take gold in this cat­e­gory. “It’s ob­vi­ously hum­bling,” says co-owner Josh Coun­sil. “We never set out to be the best bar in Hal­i­fax.” With movie screen­ings, char­ity nights and D&D ses­sions, a trip to Good Ro­bot usu­ally in­volves a lit­tle more than sit­ting at a bar. If Hal­i­fax’s votes are any ev­i­dence, peo­ple are to­tally down with that. “We ba­si­cally cre­ated the bar and the brew­ery we wanted to drink at, and it’s flat­ter­ing that there’s other peo­ple who are like us weirdos.”

BEST BARISTA GOLD Jeremy Water­man, Low Point Cof­fee SIL­VER Dan Weir, Weird Har­bour BRONZE Laura Ar­se­nault, Java Blend Cof­fee Roast­ers It’s been eight years since Jeremy Water­man started his ca­reer in cof­fee at Star­bucks, and he’s come a long way, baby. When he’s not pulling drinks at Dilly Dally, the win­ning barista is grow­ing his cold brew com­pany Low Point Cof­fee with his pals and, most re­cently, ex­plor­ing the art and sci­ence of roast­ing—a skill he’ll hope to put to use at his own cafe some­day. “We’re hit­ting what seems to be our limit and then push­ing past it. We thought we’d maybe make a case of cof­fee ev­ery week, and we’ve grown to 40 or 50 stock­ists around the city,” Water­man says of how the ever-grow­ing Low Point keeps him eat­ing, sleep­ing and breath­ing beans. “It’s al­ready gone so much far­ther than I ex­pected; we thought it would be a fun lit­tle hobby to take on.”

BEST BAR­TENDER GOLD Lind­say Jones, The Mid­dle Spoon SIL­VER Shane Bee­han, Lot Six BRONZE Nicki Brown, Good Ro­bot Brew­ing Co. Af­ter a year of sling­ing cre­ative cock­tails on the drink com­pe­ti­tion scene, Lind­say Jones knows a thing or two about what it takes to win over a panel of dis­cern­ing palates—or, ap­par­ently, hun­dreds and hun­dreds of read­ers. A fa­mil­iar face at The Mid­dle Spoon and its se­cre­tive sib­ling bar, Noble, Jones started serv­ing drinks to make an ex­tra buck be­fore re­al­iz­ing she to­tally loved it. Now, she’s work­ing as hard as she can to be the best bar­tender pos­si­ble—not only in your eyes, vot­ers, but on the na­tional scale. “I love com­pet­ing. It’s such a great way to grow as a bar­tender,” she says of the many con­tests she’s taken part of in 2018. “It’s amaz­ing to think there’s ac­tu­ally peo­ple out there vot­ing for me, who know who I am. It makes me want to do my job even bet­ter.”

BEST BEER SE­LEC­TION GOLD Stillwell SIL­VER Bat­tery Park Beer Bar BRONZE Good Ro­bot Brew­ing Co. It’s been nearly five years since this Bar­ring­ton Street beer bar opened its doors and wowed beer nerds and cu­ri­ous drinkers alike with their wide ar­ray of op­tions. And coowner Chris Reynolds says thanks to that ma­tu­rity, the sky is the limit when it comes to ex­per­i­ments and spe­cial events. “We’re ever-bal­anc­ing blow­ing the lo­cals’ minds with im­ports but hav­ing our own minds blown by our neigh­bours,” he says, call­ing a bit of a cre­ative work­shop for the staff. “I’m won­der­ing when it’ll be­come less fun be­cause it hasn’t at all yet.” Join in on the good times with the Stilly staff and reg­u­lars at an­niver­sary fes­tiv­i­ties on No­vem­ber 17.

BEST BREW PUB GOLD Good Ro­bot Brew­ing Co. SIL­VER Chain Yard Ur­ban Cidery BRONZE Bat­tery Park Beer Bar In the last year, Good Ro­bot’s

LENNY MULLINS

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