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SUMMER SUDS: Source your Annapolis Valley craft beer

Total beer sales in Nova Scotia increased from around 599,000 hectolitres in 1993 to around 622,000 in 2016, and during that same time span, craft beer sales grew from nearly zero to nearly 33,000 hectolitres.
Total beer sales in Nova Scotia increased from around 599,000 hectolitres in 1993 to around 622,000 in 2016, and during that same time span, craft beer sales grew from nearly zero to nearly 33,000 hectolitres. - Sara Ericsson

SUMMER SUDS SERIES: Craft beer in the Annapolis Valley

Annapolis Brewing Company
Founded Oct. 1, 2017, by Paul St Laurent and Danny McClair, who decided, after a few years of homebrewing together – out of a passion for good beer – and positive feedback from friends and family, to bring their beer to the craft beer drinkers of Nova Scotia.
On June 1, 2018, ABC held a soft opening of its new taproom, with the grand opening on June 30. The venue seats up to 50 people inside, with more room on the outside patio. It features 20 taps hosting a selection of their own beer for glass and growler fills, as well as several guest beers and ciders. 

Lazy Bear Brewing 
Founded in May 2016 by Erin and Andy Norman, Lazy Bear Brewing is a family-hobby brewery specializing in hand-crafted ales brewed in very small batches.
Erin and Andy have master’s degrees in food science and engineering respectively and got into the craft beer industry with the mission to provide small batches of handcrafted ales bringing together neighbours, friends, and family.
While Lazy Bear Brewing can also be found every Saturday morning at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ and Traders’ Market, the brewery is open Thursday evenings for growler and bottle fills to be taken away, or pint fills to be enjoyed outside on their picnic tables.

Sea Level Brewing
Founded Nov. 24, 2007, by owner/brewmaster Randy Lawrence, Sea Level Brewing was the first microbrewery to open in the Annapolis Valley. Since then, its mission includes producing an approachable taste to quality, micro-brewed beers; deriving as many local ingredients as possible; and guaranteeing to never compromise quality for quantity in the pursuit of brewing happiness.
Lawrence tries to use local ingredients whenever possible and has grown his own hops in the Annapolis Valley since 1985. In 2016, Lawrence used his hops, along with malts from Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, to make the first beer in Nova Scotia made entirely from local ingredients – the Indigenous Pale Ale.

Wayfarers’ Ale Society
Founded in 2012 by craft beer enthusiasts Chris Killacky, Detlef Heiss and Jamie Aitken, the Wayfarers’ Ale Society is a community-based brewing co-operative, brewing mostly English and German styles.
On July 1, 2017, the brewery officially opened with its attached taproom and patio overlooking the Cornwallis River. Like most craft breweries, Wayfarers has a large focus on local, but it’s gone beyond just using local ingredients whenever possible. Wayfarers’ strives to use Canadian producers whenever possible for all its needs, even beyond its beer ingredients - all of its brewing equipment came from P.E.I., a canning machine from Alberta, and tables and chairs from Ontario.

Schoolhouse Brewery
Founded in 2014 by former shop teacher Cameron Hartley, he began all-grain brewing in 2005 for fun, registered the brewery’s name in 2008, and in 2014 opened up the first Schoolhouse Brewery location as a nanobrewery out of his home – an old schoolhouse in Windsor. In May 2017, Hartley moved the brewery to its current location. 
Along with having its own beers on tap and in growlers, cans, and bottles, Schoolhouse hosts three ever-changing guest taps, known as the “Exchange Students,” two of which are dedicated to highlighting craft breweries across the province, while the third is always a local cider.

Lunn’s Mill Beer Company 

Lunn’s Mill Beer Company opened its doors on March 2, 2017, founded by brewery partners Sean Ebert, Mark Reid, Chantelle Webb, and Chad Graves. The brewery’s name comes Lawrencetown’s original name in the 1760s – Lunn’s Mill. 
After a few years of all-grain brewing together, with a lot of positive feedback from friends and family, brewmaster Sean Ebert and recipe developer Mark Reid decided to stop toying with the idea of opening a brewery and take the plunge. 
The brewery includes a chef-run kitchen preparing food on site, a dining area for more than 70 people, an outdoor patio area and 10 rotating taps of local craft beer and cider.

Bad Apple Brewhouse

Founded in 2012 by Jeff Saunders, 12 years after he first began homebrewing, Bad Apple is a small, built-from-the-ground-up brewery that focuses on providing quality beer to the craft beer drinkers of Nova Scotia.
In 2014, Saunders won gold in the IPA category at the Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards for his Mosaic double IPA – a beer he created in honour of his son, in which proceeds of its sale goes towards supporting organizations working to improve the lives of those dealing with Down syndrome.

Paddy’s Brewpub

Paddy’s Pub in Kentville was bought in 1992 by Brian FitzGerald, a beer enthusiast and son of an Irish immigrant looking to push the pub industry of Nova Scotia past the boring light lagers that were popular at the time. In 1995, that’s exactly what he did when he started brewing his own beer. 
Since then, Paddy’s Brewpub has focused on producing English-style ales, lagers and, more recently, cider. In 2001, FitzGerald opened a second location for his brewpub business in Wolfville and moved the brewing operation there.
Aside from a collection of craft beers, Paddy’s Brewpub offers weekly Irish musical entertainment at both locations.

Meander River Farm & Brewery

Founded in May 2014 by Alan and Brenda Baily, the micro-brewery produces small batches of handcrafted beers and ciders with as many local and self-produced ingredients as possible. It’s one of two working farm breweries in Nova Scotia.
While the brewery side of the business is a more recent endeavour, the farm itself – which grows hops and lavender used in brews – has been in the family for decades. 
The brewery is committed to producing beers and ciders as sustainably and environmentally responsible as possible. Spent grain is used as feed for the pigs, which till the land for planting new crops, and excess water from the brewery is recycled for irrigation.

Horton Ridge Malt & Grain 

Founded in June 2015 by Alan Stewart, Horton Ridge Malt & Grain is not only Nova Scotia’s first organic malt house but also the only brewery in Atlantic Canada that makes its own malt. 
While running the provinces oldest certified organic farm for more than 30 years, Stewart decided it was time for something new. Construction began in June 2015, malting of the grain began in June 2016 and in June 2017, the taproom opened.
Horton Ridge produces and supplies malt for craft breweries across the province. The taproom includes six taps, with a rotation of three of its own beers and three of its customers’ beers. 

Bent Nail Brewery
Founded July 1, 2018 by brothers Steven and Glenn Dodge, Bent Nail is the Valley’s newest brewery. It is considered a pico brewery – dubbed this because of its tiny size, as it uses only a two-barrel system – and  is located within the Daniel’s U-Pick in Windsor Forks. Bent Nail shares its location with the Bent Ridge Winery and Italian-themed cucina.
Knowing that the craft beer market was gathering a huge following, the two brothers decided to add a brewery to the winery and restaurant. 
The brewery has two brewing consultants, Aaron Miller and Kevin Barker, who have been brewing for a number of years, and began doing so out their passion for beer.



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