Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sober Island Brewing launches this Week End

Sheet Harbour, NS) - Sober Island Brewing will be launching on Friday April 22nd to become Nova Scotia's newest Brewer.

Rebecca Atkinson is the owner/operator along with Jonathan Primack, a familiar name in Halifax home brewing circles and beer judging, who is taking the role of head brewer. Sober Island Brewing Company's vision is to be a destination oriented microbrewery. Partnering with other local small businesses to create unique products and experiences within their area. Rebecca says "When someone drinks a can of Sober Island beer I want them to have a sense of place". 

Rebecca says while living in Cardiff, Wales last year she was in a welsh pub called The City Arms with fantastic real ale on tap. While ordering a flight of ale she came across an Oyster Stout that read "Brewed with fresh oysters" and she thought "wow, why don't we have something like that back home, especially with access to such great local oysters". When Rebecca returned to her hometown of Sheet Harbour in May she called her friend Jonathan and said "we're opening a brewery".

Rebecca says she always found herself coming back to Sheet Harbour no matter where she lived or travelled in the world and says "This is part of building an opportunity for me and the community. We are rural and have an aging population, I hope to inspire more business in the area and by partnering with those businesses, share success and create a thriving community." Rebecca also says "I have a huge passion for the area that we live in and believe it's full of potential. I can't wait to see what the future holds for the Eastern Shore".

The initial plan was raise a bunch of money and build a brewery on Sober Island, which they are still working on, but after seeing the time to get that done they developed a 3 phase plan. Within 3-5 years, hopefully 3, they aim to be on the island. The brewery is starting small, brewing on the Sabco BrewMagic 1/2 bbl system. The reduced brewing capacity made Rebecca's thoughts turn to bringing the beer out to people. With that in mind they converted a horse trailer to a mobile beer bar. This fall Sober Island Brewing are aiming to be in a 7bbl system next to The Henley House Pub and Restaurant and with more beer they hope to gain more taps and move toward package products for sale in retail stores.  Right now brewing on such a small system they will be focusing on two beers, Sober Island Oyster Stout and English Golden Rye Ale, as well as brewing a Henley House Private Ale.

The official launch is this Friday at The Saltscapes Expo where they will be serving tastings of their stout and ale. If you miss them this week end they will be on tap this summer at The Henley House Pub and Restaurant and Liscombe Lodge. They will also be at events such as the Northumbeerfest at Pictou Lodge and keep an eye out for the trailer too, they are hoping to pull up outside of farmers markets and other events.