Saltbox chosen to toast Bluenose’s 100th with commemorative beer


Mahone Bay's Saltbox Brewing Co. has been approved to make and distribute an official commemorative ale to mark the 100th anniversary of the launch of Canada's iconic historical schooner, Bluenose.

According to Andrew Tanner, a founding partner and vice-president of marketing for Saltbox, last year when he noted that the Bluenose would be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021, he reached out to the organization that had started to work on plans for the occasion.

"And I said, 'What about us brewing a beer to celebrate that?' And, yeah, so they were very keen on that," he recalled to LighthouseNOW in a phone interview last week.

Earlier in a news release, Tanner indicated the company was "delighted" to work in conjunction with the Bluenose 100 Committee.

"Our Brewery is known for its strong commitment to local lore and community outreach and we can think of nothing more exciting for us than to be part of this celebration of excellence," Tanner stated in the release.

The company has produced about 2,000 litres so far and was anticipating completing another 2,000 litres this week.

"So that's 4,500 cans or so," Tanner told LighthouseNOW. Saltbox plans to have the commemorative cans available to the public later this month. "And then we'll sort of see how demand goes once we get into the summer period."

In addition to its own locations in Mahone Bay and Bridgewater, the company is working to have the cans of beer sold through Nova Scotia Liquor Commission stores, and at various restaurants and bars. It will also be available on tap.

Saltbox's news release suggested that, in keeping with its "long-standing practice of financial support for local endeavours," a portion of the sale proceeds will be donated to the Bluenose 100 organization. Previously, Saltbox has used its Lumberjack Ale to support the Junior Hockey team, its Dory Racer to support International Dory Racing, and recently donated to the fund-raising efforts at Health Services Foundation of the South Shore using proceeds from its Essential IPA.

This spring it plans to co-brew a beer with the Flying Boats company of New Brunswick. A portion of sales of that beer, called Easy Breezy, will go to the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation.

Meanwhile, the brewing company will also have its hands full as it prepares to officially open its new 465- square-metre brew pub and cidery in Lunenburg called Lightship Point on May 1.

"We're literally on a fast track to just finish it off," reported Tanner.

The company has hired 10 summer students to work at the business. Tanner said Saltbox anticipates operations will be seasonal, from May to October, or November.

"And then we'll probably do some special events... You know, we're sort of just seeing how it goes this summer," said Tanner.

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