By Amy Woolvett
Legend has said that captain’s years ago would drop off troublesome crew onto a rock out in Shelburne Harbour in order to settle their differences. They had only a short time to do so on Boxing Rock before the tide would flow in and so it was usually in good graces they would return in short order onto their vessel.
Emily Tipton and Henry Pedro believe an easier way to settle a difference is over a pint of their very own Boxing Rock ale.
With opening of the Boxing Rock Brewing Company expected as soon as June, Tipton and Pedro are dedicated to bringing Nova Scotians a quality craft beer they can be proud of.
“The Nova Scotian beer drinking community deserves and desires a wide variety of quality craft beer,” said Tipton.
Both Tipton and Pedro have both the skill and the passion to make it so.
They’ve each a background in chemical engineering, a love for the community and a love for great beer.
Tipton came to Nova Scotia from England on her honeymoon.
Falling in love with the area and knowing they wanted to return to Canada where Tipton was born and raised, they found a real estate agent in Lunenburg to show them what was available.
After finding out Tipton and her husband Guy’s interests and hobbies, the agent suggested they turn their attention to Shelburne.
Both loved to sail and the small town of Shelburne boasted one of the best harbours in the world as well as an active yacht club for the couple.
“We were here for just 24 hours and decided to buy a house,” said Tipton. They had no idea if or when they would ever be able to move into it permanently.
Back in England, a picture of that house was kept on the mantle as a reminder of what their future could be.
“Every summer we would come to visit and I would wrack my brain as what we could do for a job here,” said Tipton.
A twist of luck had her husband’s company telling him he could work out of home either in Nova Scotia or Alberta.
It wasn’t long until they were moved in to their home in Shelburne.
While Tipton worked as a successful contractor for the Municipality of Shelburne, she continued to keep her eyes open to what her community was missing.
In the meantime her husband Guy was making waves throughout the sailing community with the work he was doing with the albacore program.
As an albacore enthusiast and racer, curiosity brought Pedro to Shelburne six years ago from Toronto.
He was introduced to Guy and said to him that if he executed an East Coast Albacore Championship he would come back to the area to compete.
“Every summer thereafter we would come down and race,” said Pedro.
Both he and his wife fell in love with the area.
“I loved it,” he said. “It was the perfect little picturesque, friendly small town.”
Every time he would visit he like Tipton began to wonder what he could do for employment in the area.
“One summer here I got to talking to Emily about opening a brewery,” he said.
Their kitchen table talk eventually lead to some serious experimenting with beer and flavours and they moved from beer making as a hobby to what they hope to be a successful brewing business.
Over the past two years they have put their skills to good use to make the perfect beers.
“It is very important that we are developing our own recipes,” said Pedro. “We want a recipe that is instantly recognized as beer but also one that is instantly recognized as ours.”
The high quality of their beer is also equally important and they promise that their product will be made from all natural ingredients, full flavoured and unique.
“We are designing beer for our customers,” said Pedro. “But we also have to be happy with it.”
The state of the art, 5000 square foot newly constructed building will have a low environmental footprint complete with in-floor heating and solar panels to heat the water for brewing. The wood used for the exterior siding and interior of the tasting room was milled from trees cleared from the property and much of the building elements were repurposed from local demolition sites.
The 17 HL brewhouse plus fermentation and brite tanks expect to produce 1200 to 1400 HL in the first year.
Plans include making a variety of up to eight different brews also in the first year.
There will also be a retail store, tasting room and an outdoor patio on the premises.
“The tunnel was very long,” said Pedro about all of the work both he and Tipton have invested to date. “But we can see the light now.”