SHELBURNE, N.S. – Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing Company were silver medalists at the 16th annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference held in Halifax on May 24 to 26, winning the second-place nod in the North American Style Amber/Red Ale category with their Temptation Red Ale.
“We’ve been making Temptation Red Ale regularly since day one,” said Henry Pedro, P.Eng., founding partner and president of Boxing Rock Brewing Company. “We’re doubling proud it was recognized simply because its our day to day, in and out, make it all the time beer that’s readily available in liquor stores across the province.
“Because it is a prestigious award competition a lot of brewers, and we do the same thing, we make special beers to put in the awards to compete,” Pedro said. “But when a beer like this gets recognized as one of the best in the country, we’re really pleased with ourselves because you can go to the liquor store and buy it. It’s readily available. Anybody can have it and we’re not doing anything special to it except making it the best we can every day.”
Boxing Rock is coming up on our fifth anniversary.
“We opened our doors in July 2013 we’ve been here in Shelburne the whole time. Since then we’ve pretty much quadrupled our output since our first year,” Pedro said, estimating the company is producing approximately 4,500 or 4,700 hectolitres (450,000 to 470,000 litres) a year. “By our calculations we are the third largest craft brewer in the province. Boxing Rock employees nine people full time and nine people part time. All production is done on site in Shelburne.”
Besides their regular brew, Pedro said Boxing Rock is kept busy doing seasonal and one-offs non-stop.
“We’ve probably done a dozen so far this year,” Pedro said. “Different ones that are single batch brews. We sell them out our front door and in private wine and liquor stores in the Halifax and to local bars and restaurants.”
One of Boxing Rocks’ newest brews is Over Aft, crafted exclusively for Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack in Barrington Passage.
“They approached us to see if we could do a custom brew. They are very much like us. Small, fiercely independent, march to the beat of their own drummer like we do, so we came up with the perfect beer to have with lobster and called it Over Aft,” said Pedro. “By all accounts its immensely successful. Our informal straw polls say that it’s a pretty good beer, but you have to go there to get it.”
Pedro noted that Atlantic Canadian breweries won 19 awards at the national competition, including nine won by Nova Scotia brewers. Seven of those are from rural Nova Scotia.
“We punch well above our weight,” he said. “Some of the best brewers in the province are on the South Shore and around the French Shore too, up through the Valley,” estimating there are probably seven or eight crafter brewers between Liverpool and Digby.