WOLFVILLE, NS - It’s no surprise to these three people that women drink craft beer, and that they enjoy it.
Now, while that may not come as a surprise to them because they themselves are women, they also think it shouldn’t be surprising to other people.
They each love it for different reasons, but one thing these three women have in common is that they came to craft beer on their own – not because it was something women did or did not drink, but because their own curiosity brought them to it.
“You get to choose your flavours, and you get a better product – it’s just all around a better beer-drinking experience,” says Jade Johnson, a bartender at Paddy’s Brewpub in Wolfville.
Loving that it’s local
Krystal Tanner is someone many people know in Wolfville. She is the curator of Wolfville’s Randall House Museum, a spot many visit to better understand the town’s origins.
As a member of the local business and heritage communities, it makes sense Tanner places a personal emphasis on supporting local.
It’s an emphasis that carries over in the food she eats, and the beverages she drinks.
“I really like craft beer because it’s local and it tastes really, really good,” says Tanner, holding a Kölsch beer – a lighter beer with a crisp, clean finish.
Tanner sips her beer as she sits and listens to live music at Paddy’s with her friend, Karla Lehmann, who is originally from Germany.
With friends like Lehmann and others also from Germany, Tanner says she loves the Kölsch beer because it is a German regional variety originating from Cologne.
“It was originally something being made locally there, and is now a local beer here in Wolfville. I just love that,” she says.
Consuming craft before serving it
Johnson is a bartender at Paddy’s Brewpub and says her love of craft beer began long before her days behind the bar.
When she first began drinking it, she often had to drive to Halifax to enjoy a pint.
“You used to have to travel – to Halifax, really – to get your hands on craft beer. But Paddy’s has been doing this for well over 20 years now, so we’re very lucky in this area that this has been here for so long,” she says.
While beers like Irish red ales and stouts capture her fancy, she also mixes stouts and lighter varieties to create unique flavours. Her latest combination is a blueberry ale and stout mix she’s dubbed the ‘Black and Blue’ and describes as tasting like chocolate-covered blueberries.
Johnson says these combinations would never be possible with commercial beers.
“Bottled beer is made in huge batches and lacks a lot of flavour. But craft beer is made in smaller batches, and you get a much higher quality taste,” she says.
“It’s what I love most about craft beer.”
Each batch is unique
Jill Boudreau, a mainstay on the music scene in the Annapolis Valley, is also known for her love of craft beer.
She veers away from hoppy beers, and has always preferred Irish reds, light ales and anything with a malty finish.
Boudreau drinks craft beer because she looks forward to seeing how each pint will taste, as it’s common for the taste to vary slightly between batches.
“It’s personal – it’s original, and has its own taste,” she says.
“You sometimes don’t really know what you’re doing to get, but what you do know is that it always tastes amazing.”
Boudreau says she also appreciates the time and energy that goes into crafting the small batches of beer – “you can taste the work that goes into it,” she says – and says this is another thing that makes it worth supporting.
“It’s out of the ballpark compared to (commercial beers). It has a better taste, goes down better and feels fuller. It’s more delicious – heartier, even – and it’s something you want to savour,” she says.
- The complete Summer Suds series
- Source your Annapolis Valley craft beer
- Crafting a new future for beer in the Annapolis Valley
- ‘It’s a labour of love’: Pioneering brewer reflects on success at Sea Level in Port Williams
- Head of the class: Ellershouse man passionate about creating the beer behind Schoolhouse Brewery
- ‘From grain to glass’: Horton Ridge Malt and Grain Company adding local flavour to the craft beer business
- From farm to bottle: Sourcing local hops a challenge for Annapolis Valley brewers
- ‘A disadvantage in our own market’: Craft beer brewer association president says Nova Scotia brewers hit with unfair tax
- ‘The more the merrier’: Annapolis Valley brewers say craft beer appeals to those from 19 to 90 in Nova Scotia
- ‘A better beer-drinking experience’: Why these three women love Annapolis Valley craft beer
- ‘Be a little adventurous’: Man behind Lawrencetown brewery gave up career out west to follow his dreams
- From pinching pennies to tossing the PhD: Paddy’s brewmaster Kirsten MacDonald talks about her love for craft beer
- Not just taste: Unique label art, logos a big part of the craft beer industry
- Brewing it up: Four ingredients, limitless kinds of beers
- High hopes for hops: Hamiltons Hop Yard growing the flavours that make craft beers interesting