From my short time in the microbrewing community, I am blown away by the warm reception from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island’s microbreweries. The general goal seems to have the microbrewery industry grow which is a relief and a great environment to be a part of.
We visualize our brewery as a community brewery, mainly providing good, fresh, all-natural beer to the Tatamagouche community, and surrounding area, which other microbreweries are also doing in Nova Scotia.
Uncle Leo’s opened earlier this summer and is located in Lyons Brook, Nova Scotia! Owners Carl and Rebecca Whiffen have been a great resource, and have had tremendous success thus far! I had the chance to meet them briefly at this year’s Seaport Beer Fest, and it was a pleasure to see a brand new brewery doing so well at the Beerfest! Just a few weeks ago, I was able to spend a day with Carl and Rebecca at their brewery and had the chance to see how they operate their brewery.. the day ended with sampling their brand new Smoked Porter… not a bad deal!
While accompanying my father to the Seaport Beer Fest it was intriguing to see a new side of him. In the past, while accompanying him to Wine Symposiums or shows, he was approached by other wineries, asking questions, or his thoughts on ideas. He received phone calls and made visits to new vineyards and wineries, offering support and advice whenever possible. Now the tables have turned, and I don’t think he minds. We are approaching microbreweries within the Maritimes to watch them brew, see their cellars and brewhouses, ask advice and anything else we can think of. Luckily everyone has been very open and has the mentality “don’t make the mistake we did”.
I have seen the acceptance of new microbreweries to the beer world first hand. This spring I spent 6 days at Propeller Brewery, where I was able to be a part of several brews, getting a taste of filtration, bottling, and fermenting! It was a great experience and everyone was very friendly and informative! It also got me into the hoppier beer, I love the Propeller IPA, and the Double IPA. The guys who I worked with told me I had to be able to drink the Double IPA with a straight face if I was going to be in the beer world.. I did that and more.. I love it!! I guess I am a brewster AND a hophead in training now !!!
Earlier this week I had another opportunity to experience a day in a Nova Scotia microbrewery – Sea Level Brewing Company! Sea Level opened in 2007 and is located in the Annapolis Valley, in Port Williams, along side a super tasty pub – The Port Pub (try the lobster poutine if you have a chance… to.die.for). Brewing with Randy was a great time, he was trying out his pumpkin beer “recipe” for the first time, and we worked amongst the smell of 800 litres of pumpkin pie. It was a unique experience brewing with Randy because of his extensive work in the brewing world. He has been brewing since 1994 in various microbreweries and brewpubs throughout Nova Scotia. When he is brewing it is all still technical of course, but done with such an ease and a gentle approach. Throughout the day he gave me many tips of the trade, and quite a few laughs. I can’t wait to get back there after my Chicago course to try his new Pumpkin Ale, and get another brew in hopefully!
I look forward to continue learning with the ever growing and entertaining microbrewery community!