SHELBURNE, N.S. - The beers were flowing freely and the bands were set up amongst the fermenters playing the songs most Canadians know all the words to.
On Nov. 10, Boxing Rock Brewery in Shelburne released their new beer Courage (For Gord Downie).
The beer was created in collaboration with the Garrison Brewing Company as a tribute to Canadian icon Gord Downie who passed away from brain cancer in October. Yarmouth native and graphic artist Erin McGuire – also a musician and huge Gord Downie fan – was also part of the collaboration with his Tragically Hip-inspired artwork ‘By the Numbers,’ which is being used for the craft beer label.
Emily Tipton, Boxing Rock co-owner, says they had had the beer planed and had hoped to release the beer before Downie’s death.
The event saw about 70 people over the night. To kick it off in style they played a tribute show of local musicians on the brewery floor and served the amber Canadian wheat beer.
The Courage (For Gord Downie) brew sold out that night.
There were 7,500 beers made. There were 250 available at the Shelburne brewery for the launch.
While there are Boxing Rock enthusiasts throughout the province and Maritimes, Tipton says she’s had requests from all across the country.
“It’s not about the beer it’s about Gord Downie,” says Tipton. “Anyone who is a Tragically Hip fan wants to get a hold of this beer.”
As soon as the announcement was made earlier in the year about the plan, liquor stores in Newfoundland called to request orders and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since.
While the beer has sold out at both Boxing Rock and Garrison Breweries, the beers have yet to hit shelves at NSLC stores in Halifax and will hit the shelves on Nov. 20.
For Tipton and co-owner Henry Pedro, they both grew up in the generation of Downie’s band the Tragically Hip.
“He was an amazing songwriter and Canadian and really special not just to us but Canadians,” says Tipton.
$1 from each bottle of this collaboration brew with Boxing Rock Brewing Company will go directly to causes close to Gord – $0.50 to Brain Tumour research and $0.50 to Indigenous Peoples Reconciliation.