Saltbox brews up a plan with Acadia University

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>Founding members of Mahone Bay&#8217;s Saltbox Brewery: from left, Patrick Jardine, director of operations, Jane McLoughlin-Anderson, corporate secretary and treasurer, George Anderson, president, Andrew Tanner, sales and marketing manager, and Jeremy Fehr, head brewer.</p>

Saltbox Brewing Company is crafting a plan with researchers at Acadia University's department of biology which it says says could lead to unique styles of Nova Scotia beer.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) is giving a $15,000 research and innovation grant to Acadia and Saltbox to investigate the creation of specialized yeast strains in order to create "special Nova Scotia-branded craft beers."

Saltbox's director of operations, Patrick Jardine, said in a press release the Mahone Bay company is " honoured "to have been selected to partner with Acadia University in the work.

"It is an important step in our journey to be among the leaders in specialized beer production in our province," he noted.

Jardine told LighthouseNOW Saltbox has the "proprietary rights to whatever is concluded from the experiment."

However, he said the company would share the results of the research with other Nova Scotia breweries through the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, "so they can use or try out some of these wild yeasts that exist in the environment around us.

"And hopefully we find some really exceptional flavours that are truly regional."

Jardine said the research project was prompted by "curiosity and having a good time."

He said Dr. Russell Easy, a professor at Acadia University's faculty of science, happened to be at the brew pub on Main Street and advised the owners funding for research is available.

"We got chatting with him and thought we would give it a go."

Easy will now head the research, which will be done at Acadia in Wolfville.

In the statement issued by Saltbox, Easy noted that partnering with the government through the NSBI and Saltbox Brewery is "the kind of "exciting collaboration which motivates us. It is unique research which holds the promise of supporting a growing industry in Nova Scotia."

Jardine says Saltbox is expecting results from the research by the end of February.

"After that, we'll be starting to make some beers with the yeast that we get, which is a very important component of making beer. And hopefully shortly after that we'll be sharing it with the public," he said.

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